Ninyo & Moore Geotechnical and Environmental Sciences Consultants.

Ninyo & Moore provides geotechnical engineering, engineering geology, geophysics, hydrogeology, soil and materials testing, and environmental services.
3202 East Harbour Drive Phoenix, AZ
Phone: 602.243.1600



Clients of Ninyo & Moore receive the services of professional geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists that are familiar with today's building codes and technology. Our geotechnical professionals are proficient in a variety of geotechnical tasks, including field instrumentation and monitoring, foundation design, liquefaction, pavement design, retaining structures, seismic design, and slope stability.

Geotechnical engineering projects typically involve:

  • reviewing background information such as relevant geotechnical reports, project plans, relevant publications, and other pertinent data;
  • conducting field studies in order to assess the nature of the on-site geotechnical conditions including the subsurface soil characteristics and depth to groundwater;
  • laboratory testing to assess the nature and behavior of soils;
  • performing engineering analyses to address slope stability, liquefaction, soil swell and settlement, site response, foundation design, pavement thickness, and percolation rates; and
  • preparing project design and construction reports.

Our project experience includes:

Field Instrumentation and Monitoring

Ninyo & Moore has extensive experience in geotechnical field monitoring, which includes instrumentation installation, calibration, monitoring, data reduction, and analyses.

Our field instrumentation monitoring can be utilized for:

  • Landslide evaluations
  • Slope stability evaluations
  • Settlement concerns
  • Retaining structures
  • Tunnels
  • Vibration studies
  • Moisture intrusion studies

Some of the monitoring equipment utilized by Ninyo & Moore includes:

  • Slope inclinometers
  • Piezometers
  • Tilt meters
  • Extensometers
  • Tension crack monitors
  • Sondex settlement equipment
  • Settlement plates

Foundation Design

Ninyo & Moore routinely provides geotechnical foundation recommendations for support of all types of structures, including public and commercial buildings and facilities, bridges, utility plants, and waterfront structures.

Ninyo & Moore is experienced in providing site-specific recommendations that include:

  • Foundation type and size
    • spread footings
    • mat
    • driven piles
    • drilled piles/caissons
  • Allowable bearing, lateral, and uplift capacities
  • Modulus of subgrade reaction
  • Estimated settlements and settlement rates
  • Construction recommendations for mitigation of:
    • expansive soils
    • compressible soils
    • collapsible soils
    • liquefiable soils
    • corrosive soils
    • saturated/weak soils
  • Constructability considerations
  • Subgrade preparation
  • Lateral load resistance (passive pressures and friction coefficients)
  • Dynamic or transient loads


Liquefaction of cohesionless soils can be caused by strong vibratory motion due to earthquakes. Research and historical data indicate that loose granular soils and non-plastic silts that are saturated by a relatively shallow groundwater table are more susceptible to liquefaction. Ninyo & Moore has experience with a wide variety of projects where liquefiable soil was a concern. To evaluate such soils, they are typically explored and sampled with exploratory borings and/or with cone penetrometer tests.

Mitigation measures for liquefiable soils can include various techniques, including:

  • Deep pile foundations
  • Ground modifications, including:
    • Stone columns
    • Deep dynamic compaction
    • Compaction grouting

Pavement Design

Ninyo & Moore personnel have extensive experience providing designs for new and rehabilitated pavements. Pavement design specifications are developed using standard design methods and the results of laboratory testing, including R-value and CBR testing of the subgrade soils. Pavement design recommendations include subgrade preparation and compaction requirements; thickness and type of base materials required for supporting the finished pavement; and thickness of concrete or asphalt concrete paving sections. Ninyo & Moore project personnel also have expertise developing optimum pavement repair strategies. Additionally, we evaluate special situations where pavement performance has not met expectations and provide objective pavement expertise in evaluating the causes of less than desired performance.

Pavement designs are performed in accordance with the regulations and guidelines of local, county, state, and federal agencies and include:

  • Flexible pavement (asphalt concrete, asphalt rubber hot mix)
  • Rigid pavement (portland cement concrete)
  • Superpave

Our pavement rehabilitation evaluations provide various alternatives for pavement rehabilitation, including:

  • Overlays and seals
  • Skin and crack patching
  • Reinforcing pavement fabrics
  • Removal and reconstruction
  • Cold in place recycling

Retaining Structures

Ninyo & Moore provides geotechnical design and construction services for both temporary and long-term retaining structures for various applications. We evaluate the site-specific conditions, wall height, transient and permanent loads, seismic loading, and hydrostatic pressures, as well as many other parameters, in order to provide design parameters for proposed structures.

Evaluations are performed for the following:

  • Permanent wall systems
    • Cantilever
    • Tie-back
    • Soil nail
    • Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE)
    • Gabion
    • Crib and bin
    • Modular block
  • Temporary systems
    • Sheet piles
    • Soldier pile and lagging
    • Braced excavations
    • Cofferdams

Seismic Design

Seismic design criteria are constantly being updated and improved upon by earth scientists, academics, and regulatory agencies. Ninyo & Moore's participation in various international, federal, state, and regional agencies, as well as professional organizations, keeps our personnel informed regarding recent changes and updates in the area of seismic design.

We provide site-specific seismic design parameters for both new construction and seismic retrofit projects, including:

  • Peak horizontal ground accelerations
  • Peak vertical ground accelerations
  • Deterministic ground motion studies
  • Probabilistic ground motion studies
  • Seismic lateral earth pressures

Slope Stability

The stability of natural and man-made slopes is dependent on a number of factors, including site geology, slope inclination, strength of soils, construction activities, and ground shaking. Ninyo & Moore utilizes state-of-the-art computer programs to perform slope stability analyses for both planned and existing slopes, as well as to provide repair recommendations for slope failures. Typically, these analyses are conducted based on laboratory tests performed on samples obtained from exploratory excavations, such as borings or test pits. If a slope is found to have an inadequate factor-of-safety, Ninyo & Moore has designed stability fills and buttresses to improve the stability of the slope so that it has an adequate factor-of-safety.

Ninyo & Moore has utilized a number of stability methods to repair failed slopes and design new slopes. These methods include:

  • Stability fills
  • Shear keys
  • Shear pins
  • Buttresses
  • Geogrid reinforcement
  • Lime/cement treatment