Seepage is the key factor in the safety of dikes and earth-fill dams. It is crucial to identify and localize the seepage excesses at the early stages before it initiates the internal erosion process in the structure. A proper seepage monitoring system should ensure a continuous and wide area seepage measurement. Here, continuous monitoring of seepage at the laboratory-scale is achieved by a passive optical fiber Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) system. An experimental model was designed which consists of initially unsaturated sand model, water supply, seepage outflow, optical fiber DTS system, and water and air temperature measurement. Initially, the sand temperature was higher than the temperature of the seepage water. An optical fiber DTS system was employed with a high-temperature resolution, short sampling intervals and short time intervals for temperature monitoring in the sand model. In the system, the small variation in the temperature due to groundwater flow was detected. The numerical analysis was conducted for both the seepage process and the heat transfer progression in the sand model. The results of the heat flow simulation were evaluated and compared with the measured temperature by the optical fiber DTS. Obvious temperature reduction was obtained due to seepage propagation in the sand. The rate of temperature reduction was observed to be dependent on the seepage flow velocity.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited