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REAL TIME MONITORING OF VOLUMETRIC WATER CONTENT IN RECLAIMED MINE WASTE USING CONE PENETRATION - TIME DOMAIN REFLECTOMETRY

Date

2018-10-23

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

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Type

Thesis

Degree Level

Masters

Abstract

Reclamation soil covers over mine waste are designed to store water as a means of controlling water balance in order to support re-vegetation and minimize the net percolation of water into mine waste. Measurement of stored volumes of water in reclamation material is a critical element in monitoring the performance of the soil cover. The purpose of this project is to undertake laboratory and field trials of a sensor to measure volumetric water content profiles through reclaimed mine waste using a new time domain reflectometry (TDR) component added to conventional geotechnical cone penetration testing (CPT). Time domain reflectometry measures the volumetric water content of a soil by characterizing the dielectric constant of the soil – a property that is strongly dependant on volumetric water content. The sensor design is constrained by the ability to be adapted to standard CPT equipment as well as being operational in soils with elevated electrically conductivity (EC). The engineering problem addressed in this project is the measurement of detailed profiles of stored water volume over large areas of reclaimed mine waste (i.e. soil covers placed over tailings or overburden) in real time. If successful, this will be a new method to obtain real time, spatial distributions of stored water volume to depths of up to 10 m within reclaimed mine closure landscapes. Other methods exist to obtain stored water volume profiles however these methods are rather complicated. The laboratory component of this project was intended to measure the accuracy and operational range of the device using prepared samples under a controlled setting. Two field based calibration studies were used to assess the robustness of the device under extreme forces and to evaluate its performance under actual field conditions. It is expected that the developed CPT-TDR probe can be utilized by industry to evaluate the performance of reclamation covers in a wide variety of closure designs.

Description

Keywords

TDR, CPT, MINE CLOSURE, SOIL COVERS, VOLUMETRIC WATER CONTENT, STORED WATER VOLUMES

Citation

Degree

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Department

Civil and Geological Engineering

Program

Civil Engineering

Committee

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DOI

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