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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016, Article ID 2827890, 10 pages
Research Article

Study on Relationship between Dielectric Constant and Water Content of Rock-Soil Mixture by Time Domain Reflectometry

1MOE Key Laboratory of Soft Soils and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China

Received 24 January 2016; Accepted 20 March 2016

Academic Editor: Fei Dai

Copyright © 2016 Daosheng Ling et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It is important to test water content of rock-soil mixtures efficiently and accurately to ensure both the quality control of compaction and assessment of the geotechnical engineering properties. To overcome time and energy wastage and probe insertion problems when using the traditional calibration method, a TDR coaxial test tube calibration arrangement using an upward infiltration method was designed. This arrangement was then used to study the influence of dry density, pore fluid conductivity, and soil/rock ratio on the relationship between water content and the dielectric constant of rock-soil mixtures. The results show that the empirical calibration equation forms for rock-soil mixtures can be the same as for soil materials. The effect of dry density on the calibration equation has the most significance and the influence of pore fluid conductivity can be ignored. The impact of variation of the soil/rock ratio can be neutralized by considering the effect of dry density in the calibration equation for the same kind of soil and rock. The empirical equations proposed by Zhao et al. show a good accuracy for rock-soil mixtures, indicating that the TDR method can be used to test gravimetric water content conveniently and efficiently without calibration in the field.