ABSTRACT

With the aid of ground penetrating radar (GPR), it is possible to evaluate physical properties of a constructed base layer in engineered structures (pavement, land consolidation projects, etc.) non-destructively, quickly, and accurately. High spatial variations of subsurface water content and deficient compaction can lead to unexpected damage and structural instability. In this research, we established a relationship between the dielectric constant, water content, and compaction, whereby, an interactive relationship between these parameters is presented. To achieve this, large-scale laboratory experiments were carried out on construction materials to simulate field conditions. According to USCS, the tested soil type was GW-GM (type E base layer according to Iran's highway specifications code). Furthermore, water content and compaction were changed between 4% -12.9% and 84.7% -94.9%, respectively. The travel-times in each test, including three profiles with more than 210 traces, are measured automatically. Additionally, the calculated dielectric constants were compared with the Topp and Roth equations. R-square and RMS error of the final interactive equation between dielectric constant and water content-compaction were 0.95 and 0.41, respectively. Moreover, the sensitivity analysis of the proposed interactive equation shows that changes in water content of soil have greater impact on dielectric constant than soil compaction changes. The data also indicate the importance of considering the compaction changes of soil to reduce the error in dielectric constant estimation.

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