Spatial time domain reflectometry and its application for the measurement of water content distributions along flat ribbon cables in a full-scale levee model

Scheuermann, Alexander; Huebner, Christof; Schlaeger, Stefan; Wagner, Norman; Becker, Rolf; Bieberstein, Andreas

Spatial time domain reflectometry (spatial TDR) is a new measurement method for determining water content profiles along elongated probes (transmission lines). The method is based on the inverse modeling of TDR reflectograms using an optimization algorithm. By means of using flat ribbon cables it is possible to take two independent TDRmeasurements from both ends of the probe, which are used to improve the spatial information content of the optimization results and to consider effects caused by electrical conductivity. The method has been used for monitoring water content distributions on a full-scale levee model made of well-graded clean sand. Flood simulation tests, irrigation tests, and long-term observations were carried out on the model. The results show that spatial TDR is able to determine water content distributions with an accuracy of the spatial resolution of about ±3 cm compared to pore pressure measurements and an average deviation of ±2 vol % compared to measurements made using another independent TDR measurement system.

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Scheuermann, Alexander / Huebner, Christof / Schlaeger, Stefan / et al: Spatial time domain reflectometry and its application for the measurement of water content distributions along flat ribbon cables in a full-scale levee model. 2017.

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