The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 53-18 [New]

Moisture Measurement for Foundations and Slopes
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 4/30/2021 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Jo Allen Gause
Fiscal Year: 2022

Preliminary Scope

Accurate and timely moisture measurement of soils, aggregates, and recycled materials is critical to properly compact these geomaterials. In addition, moisture measurement is also very im-portant in transportation applications such as landslide warning systems, rainfall-induced slope failures, embankment settlement, and pavement performance monitoring. New devices and sensors are available that could replace traditional methods that are more expensive and time-consuming.

The objective of this synthesis is to document current state DOT practices for field and laboratory moisture measurement for foundations and slopes for pavements and structures.

Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to):
• Laboratory and field testing equipment used by state DOTs (e.g., devices, instruments, systems);
• Techniques by state DOTs for moisture measurement; and
• Spatial and seasonal variation of moisture measurements.

Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.

Information Sources (Partial):
• Abu-Farsakh, M.Y., et al. (2015). Incorporating the Effect of Moisture Variation on Resilient Modulus for Unsaturated Fine-Grained Soils. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2510, pp. 44-53.
• Camacho-Garita, E., et al. (2020). Effect of Moisture on Full-Scale Pavement Distress. Journal of Testing and Evaluation, Vol. 48, Issue 1, pp. 235-246.
• de Morais França, M. B., et al. (2018). A Multiprobe Heat Pulse Sensor for Soil Moisture Measurement Based on pcb Technology" IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, Vol. 68, Issue 2, pp. 606-613.
• Han, Z., and Vanapalli, S. K. (2016). State-of-the-Art: Prediction of Resilient Modulus of Unsaturated Subgrade Soils. International Journal of Geomechanics, Vol. 16, Issue 4.
• Jacobsz, S. W. (2018). "Low Cost Tensiometers for Geotechnical Applications. Proc. 9th International Conference Physical Modelling Geotechnics.
• Kejun, Y., et al. (2019). Soil Moisture Sensor Design Based on Fiber Bragg Grating. Proc. 10th International Symposium Precision Engineering Measurements Instrumentation.
• McCartney, J. S., and Khosravi, A. (2013). Field Monitoring System for Suction and Temperature Profiles under Pavements. Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, Vol. 27, Issue 6, pp. 818-825.
• Nokkaew, K., et al. (2014). Effect of Matric Suction on Resilient Modulus Compacted Recycled Base Course in Postcompaction State. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2433, pp. 68-78.
• Placidi, P., et al. (2020). Characterization of Low-Cost Capacitive Soil Moisture Sensors for IoT Networks. Sensors, Vol 20, Issue 12, p. 3585.

TRB Staff
Jo Allen Gause
Phone: 202-334-3826
Email: jagause@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel: October 19, 2021, virtual
Teleconference with Consultant: TBD
Second Panel: TBD

Topic Panel


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