Use of impedance probe for estimation of porosity changes in saturated granular filters under cyclic loading: calibration and application
Gravimetric and volumetric sampling techniques are reliable for the measurement of porosity in fully saturated granular filters. However, both methods require a significant effort to gather and prepare samples, are time intensive to process, and do not capture real-time changes. Portable impedance probes serve as a valuable alternative to these destructive and laborious sampling methods. These probes measure the dielectric properties of the soil-water mixtures from which the porosity of filters may be inferred. This study demonstrates that generalized calibrations can result in large errors for porosity estimation when using diverse and small-scale filter types. By comparing with gravimetric and volumetric based porosity measurements for saturated granular filter porosity, impedance probes with filter-specific calibration offer the reliability and confidence owing to its reduced error in a quick, nondestructive fashion. This paper also presents the results of a laboratory investigation using an impedance probe to monitor real-time changes in the porosity of saturated granular filters subjected to cyclic train loading.