Integration of GIS with the Generalized Reciprocal Method (GRM) for Determining Foundation Bearing Capacity: A Case Study in Opolo, Yenagoa Bayelsa State, Nigeria


  • Ebiegberi Oborie

    Department of Geology, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, 560103, Nigeria

  • Desmond Eteh

    Department of Geology, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, 560103, Nigeria

Received: 16 September 2023 | Revised: 23 October 2023 | Accepted: 25 October 2023 | Published Online: 15 November 2023


This study addresses the pressing need to assess foundation bearing capacity in Opolo, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The significance lies in the dearth of comprehensive geotechnical data for construction planning in the region. Past research is limited and this study contributes valuable insights by integrating Geographic Information System (GIS) with the Generalized Reciprocal Method (GRM). To collect data, near-surface seismic refraction surveys were conducted along three designated lines, utilizing ABEM Terraloc Mark 6 equipment, Easy Refract, and ArcGIS 10.4.1 software. This methodology allowed for the determination of key geotechnical parameters essential for soil characterization at potential foundation sites. The results revealed three distinct geoseismic layers. The uppermost layer, within a depth of 0.89 to 1.50 meters, exhibited inadequate compressional and shear wave velocities and low values for oedometric modulus, shear modulus, N-value, ultimate bearing capacity, and allowable bearing capacity. This indicates the presence of unsuitable, soft, and weak alluvial deposits for substantial structural loads. In contrast, the second layer (1.52 to 3.84 m depth) displayed favorable geotechnical parameters, making it suitable for various construction loads. The third layer (15.00 to 26.05 m depth) exhibited varying characteristics. The GIS analysis highlighted the unsuitability of the uppermost layer for construction, while the second and third layers were found to be fairly competent and suitable for shallow footing and foundation design. In summary, this study highlights the importance of geotechnical surveys in Opolo’s construction planning. It offers vital information for informed choices, addresses issues in the initial layer, and suggests secure, sustainable construction options.


Generalized reciprocal method (GRM), Geographic information system (GIS), Foundation bearing capacity, Seismic refraction


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How to Cite

Oborie, E., & Eteh, D. (2023). Integration of GIS with the Generalized Reciprocal Method (GRM) for Determining Foundation Bearing Capacity: A Case Study in Opolo, Yenagoa Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Advances in Geological and Geotechnical Engineering Research, 5(4), 22–40.


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