ASTM WK14112

    New Guide for Guide for The Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock

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    Developed by Subcommittee: D18.21 | Committee D18 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide provides a review of the test methods available for determining the water (moisture) content of soil and rock. Test methods for measuring water content in the laboratory and the field are presented. 1.2 Laboratory methods to determine water content generally involve a procedure to weigh the soil or rock sample, followed by appropriate drying measures (e.g., oven or microwave heating), and subsequent weighing of the dried sample. 1.3 A laboratory or field portable method to determine water content of soil is available that employs geochemical principles (e.g., calcium carbide gas pressure tester). This method is intended for use when an oven or microwave are not available or convenient. 1.4 Field methods to determine water content generally fall into two (2) categories: 1) electromagnetic techniques (e.g., time-domain reflectometry); and 2) nuclear (e.g., neutron probe). Both of these methods require calibration of the instrumentation in order to produce accurate results. These methods are nominally non-destructive. 1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    unsaturated zone, vadose zone


    This guide is needed to provide guidance on the selection and use of methods to determine water content of soil and rock. A number of practices already exist within ASTM describing existing methods, but no guide exists to distinguish them from each other. Users include those with agricultural/irrigation issues, as well as those performing environmental characterization activities.

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Lorne Everett

    Draft Under Development