A New Technique for Deep in situ Measurements of the Soil Water Retention Behaviour

Irene Rocchi, Carmine Gerardo Gragnano, Laura Govoni*, Alessio Mentani, Marco Bittelli, Paolo Castiglione, Olivier Buzzi, Guido Gottardi

*Corresponding author for this work

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    In situ measurements of soil suction and water content in deep soil layers still represent an experimental challenge. Mostly developed within agriculture related disciplines, field techniques for the identification of soil retention behaviour have been so far employed in the geotechnical context to monitor shallow landslides and seasonal volume changes beneath shallow foundations, within the most superficial ground strata. In this paper, a novel installation technique is presented, discussed and assessed, which allows to extend the use of commercially available low cost and low maintenance instruments to characterise deep soil layers. Multi-depth installations have been successfully carried out using two different sensors to measure the soil suction and water content up to 7m from the soil surface. Preliminary laboratory investigations were also shown to provide a reasonable benchmark to the field data. The results of this study
    offer a convenient starting point to accommodate important geotechnical works such as river and road embankments in the traditional monitoring of unsaturated soil variables.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalGeotechnical Research
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)3-12
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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