Volume 35, Issue 1 (January 2012)
The Influence of Changes in Water Content on the Electrical Resistivity of a Natural Unsaturated Loess
Non-destructive methods of measuring water content in soils have been extensively developed in the last decades, especially in soil science. Among these methods, the measurements based on the electrical resistivity are simple and reliable thanks to the clear relationship between the water content and the electrical resistivity of soils. In this work, a new electrical resistivity probe was developed to monitor the change in local water content in the triaxial apparatus. The probe is composed of two-pair of electrodes, and an electrical current is induced through the soil at the vicinity of the contact between the probe and the specimen. Some experimental data on the changes in resistivity with the degree of saturation were obtained in specimens of a natural unsaturated loess from Northern France. Two theoretical models of resistivity were also used to analyze the obtained data. Results are finally discussed with respect to the loess’s water retention properties.