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Field measurement of suction, water content and water permeability

Tarantino, Alessandro (2010) Field measurement of suction, water content and water permeability. In: Mechanics of unsaturated geomaterials. ISTE - John Wiley & Sons, pp. 129-154. ISBN 9781848212664

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Abstract

Suction and (volumetric) water content play a key role in the mechanical and hydraulic behavior of unsaturated geomaterials, and their field measurement is therefore a fundamental issue in engineering applications. Techniques for suction measurement in the laboratory and field have widely been reviewed in the literature [BUL 08, DUR 05, MAR 08, RID 96a, RID 98, SCA 02, TAR 08, YOU 02], in addition to techniques for water content measurements based on dielectric methods [GAR 01, JON 02, NOR 01, O’CO 99, ROB 03, TAR 08]. The reader may refer to these publications for a comprehensive discussion on these techniques. The aim of this chapter is to present the basic principles of field measurement of suction and water content to help new readers systematize the large information available in the literature. A brief overview of the methods to determine the hydraulic conductivity in the field is also presented at the end of the chapter.