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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(6), 935;

Evaluation of Water Content in an Active Layer Using Penetration-Type Time Domain Reflectometry

School of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
Division of Polar Climate Sciences, Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon 21990, Korea
Geotechnical Engineering Research Division, SOC Research Institute, Korea Institute of Construction Technology, Goyang 10223, Korea
School of Agricultural Civil and Bio-Industrial Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
Institute of Agricultural Science & Technology, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 2 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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The moisture condition of the active layer in Arctic regions can induce severe problems, such as ground subsidence and frost heave. Thus, the water content in the active layer needs to be estimated using a light and portable in-situ testing device. In this study, a penetration-type time domain reflectometry (PTDR) device is developed for the estimation of volumetric water content in the active layer. The developed PTDR is applied at a site for an electrical resistivity survey to characterize the water distribution along a measurement line. A PTDR consists of a PTDR module, connecting rods, and a guide with a hammer. The PTDR module can determine the dielectric constant of a material from the measurement of the travel time of electromagnetic waves. Using remolded soil samples, the dielectric constants measured from the PTDR are calibrated with the volumetric water content. The PTDR calibration demonstrates that the dielectric constant increases with the water content. For the temperature of 0.1 to 15.2 °C, the travel time only slightly depends on the temperature variance. For field application, a PTDR is pressed into the ground and measures the electromagnetic waves and temperature with depth. The results of the field tests show that the volumetric water content measured by the PTDR increases with depth due to the impermeable layer located underneath the active layer. The electrical resistivity survey conducted at the same site provides the electrical resistivity profile for a long distance and shallow depth soils. Furthermore, the electrical resistivity survey and PTDR establish a significant correlation between electrical resistivity and water content. The PTDR developed in this study can be effectively used as an advanced in-situ testing method to estimate the water distribution in the active layer. View Full-Text
Keywords: active layer; electrical resistivity; time domain reflectometry (TDR); water content active layer; electrical resistivity; time domain reflectometry (TDR); water content

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Lee, J.-S.; Hong, W.-T.; Park, K.; Hong, S.S.; Lee, S.-H.; Byun, Y.-H. Evaluation of Water Content in an Active Layer Using Penetration-Type Time Domain Reflectometry. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 935.

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