The time domain reflectometry (TDR) technique is a geophysical method that allows, in a time-varying electric field, the determination of dielectric permittivity and electrical conductivity of a wide class of porous materials. Measurements of the volumetric water content (θw) in soils is the most frequent application of TDR in Soil Science and Soil Hydrology. In last four decades several studies have sought to explore potential applications of TDR. Such studies (except those conducted on θw estimation) mainly focused on monitoring soil solute transport. In more recent times, innovative TDR approaches have also been implemented to extend current TDR fields of application to the problem of monitoring non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) in variable saturated soils. NAPLs are organic compounds with low solubility in water and are characterised by a high mobility in the vadose zone. Due to their high toxicity, NAPLs constitute a severe geo-environmental problem, thus making detection and observation of such substances in soils an increasingly important issue. The present paper deals with these studies and aims to provide an up-to-date review of the main NAPL-TDR studies. To date, the literature has focused on TDR applications in three main fields: (i) NAPL monitoring in homogeneous, variable saturated soils, (ii) NAPL monitoring in layered variable saturated soils, and (iii) NAPL monitoring during soil decontamination processes. For an exhaustive and complete overview of TDR research in this field, we also recall the basic principles of TDR signal propagation, the functioning of a typical TDR device, and the dielectric mixing models that are widely used to interpret the dielectric response of NAPL-contaminated soils.

A review of new TDR applications for measuring non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) in soils

Coppola A.
2022-01-01

Abstract

The time domain reflectometry (TDR) technique is a geophysical method that allows, in a time-varying electric field, the determination of dielectric permittivity and electrical conductivity of a wide class of porous materials. Measurements of the volumetric water content (θw) in soils is the most frequent application of TDR in Soil Science and Soil Hydrology. In last four decades several studies have sought to explore potential applications of TDR. Such studies (except those conducted on θw estimation) mainly focused on monitoring soil solute transport. In more recent times, innovative TDR approaches have also been implemented to extend current TDR fields of application to the problem of monitoring non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) in variable saturated soils. NAPLs are organic compounds with low solubility in water and are characterised by a high mobility in the vadose zone. Due to their high toxicity, NAPLs constitute a severe geo-environmental problem, thus making detection and observation of such substances in soils an increasingly important issue. The present paper deals with these studies and aims to provide an up-to-date review of the main NAPL-TDR studies. To date, the literature has focused on TDR applications in three main fields: (i) NAPL monitoring in homogeneous, variable saturated soils, (ii) NAPL monitoring in layered variable saturated soils, and (iii) NAPL monitoring during soil decontamination processes. For an exhaustive and complete overview of TDR research in this field, we also recall the basic principles of TDR signal propagation, the functioning of a typical TDR device, and the dielectric mixing models that are widely used to interpret the dielectric response of NAPL-contaminated soils.
Time domain reflectometry technique; Soil contamination; Soil-NAPL-water mixtures; Dielectric properties; Mixing models
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/350224
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