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Using Ground Penetrating Radar to Measure Soil Moisture Content

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  032275,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13822) @2003
Authors:   William P. Clement, Anderson L. Ward

Surface barriers covering landfills must ensure that water does not flow through the fill. The engineered barrier consists of about 2 m of silt loam underlain by sand, gravel, and asphalt. Knowing the amount of water and the changes in water content over time will allow engineers to monitor the effectiveness of the surface barriers. To measure changes in soil moisture content over one year, we collected GPR data. Since the thickness and the composition of the prototype surface barrier did not change over this time, differences in the GPR response are due to changes in soil moisture or water content in the barrier. GPR images changes in the subsurface that indicate changes in soil moisture content. Our results indicate that the prototype surface barrier is drier in the summer and wetter in the winter.

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