Mapping the spatial variation of soil moisture at the large scale using GPR for pavement applications

Benedetto, Andrea, Tosti, Fabio ORCID:, Ortuani, Bianca, Giudici, Mauro and Mele, Mauro (2015) Mapping the spatial variation of soil moisture at the large scale using GPR for pavement applications. Near Surface Geophysics, 13 (3). pp. 269-278. ISSN 1569-4445

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The characterization of shallow soil moisture spatial variability at the large scale is a crucial issue in many research studies and fields of application ranging from agriculture and geology to civil and environmental engineering. In this framework, this work contributes to the research in the area of pavement engineering for preventing damages and planning effective management. High spatial variations of subsurface water content can lead to unexpected damage of the load-bearing layers; accordingly, both safety and operability of roads become lower, thereby affecting an increase in expected accidents.
A pulsed ground-penetrating radar system with ground-coupled antennas, i.e., 600-MHz and 1600-MHz center frequencies of investigation, was used to collect data in a 16 m × 16 m study site in the Po Valley area in northern Italy. Two ground-penetrating radar techniques were employed to non-destructively retrieve the subsurface moisture spatial profile. The first technique is based on the evalu¬ation of the dielectric permittivity from the attenuation of signal amplitudes. Therefore, dielectrics were converted into moisture values using soil-specific coefficients from Topp’s relationship. Ground-penetrating-radar-derived values of soil moisture were then compared with measurements from eight capacitance probes. The second technique is based on the Rayleigh scattering of the signal from the Fresnel theory, wherein the shifts of the peaks of frequency spectra are assumed comprehensive indi¬cators for characterizing the spatial variability of moisture. Both ground-penetrating radar methods have shown great promise for mapping the spatial variability of soil moisture at the large scale.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.3997/1873-0604.2015006
Keywords: ground-penetrating radar; GPR; soil moisture; signal processing; Rayleigh Scattering; spectral analysis
Subjects: Construction and engineering > Built environment
Construction and engineering > Civil and structural engineering
Construction and engineering
Depositing User: Fabio Tosti
Date Deposited: 26 May 2016 17:35
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:45


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