Volume 36, Issue 6 (November 2013)

    Water Migration Impacts on Thermal Resistivity Testing Procedures

    (Received 9 August 2012; accepted 19 July 2013)

    Published Online: 2013


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    This study investigated water redistribution during measurement of the thermal dry-out curve (i.e., soil thermal resistivity ρT versus volumetric water content θ). Although there is not a standard method for measuring the ρTθ relationship, curves are typically generated with incremental ρT measurements as a specimen is dried. However, drying within a specimen may not be uniform, even in a controlled, low-temperature drying environment. In this study, ρT and θ were measured at the top, middle, and bottom of remolded cylindrical soil specimens of a range of soil types after staged drying in a low-temperature oven. Water distribution was highly varied; for example, tests on silty sand revealed θ values up to nine times greater at the bottom than at the top of the specimen, and spatial variations in θ erroneously affect measured values of ρT. Numerical models validated water migration within soil specimens during staged drying. The results indicate a need for modification of the standard thermal resistivity testing procedure to account for variations in water content across a specimen and along the sensor length during drying.

    Author Information:

    Woodward, Nikki R.
    Geotechnical Engineer, Kleinfelder, Redmond, WA

    Tinjum, James M.
    Assistant Professor, Engineering Professional Development, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

    Wu, Ray
    Research Assistant, Geological Engineering, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

    Stock #: GTJ20120151

    ISSN: 0149-6115

    DOI: 10.1520/GTJ20120151

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    Title Water Migration Impacts on Thermal Resistivity Testing Procedures
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee D18