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Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

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Publication Number:  FHWA-RD-97-139    Date:  February 1998
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-97-139
Date: February 1998


Determining Soil Volumetric Moisture Content Using Time Domain Reflectometry

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Detemlining the moisture content of pavement structures for seasonal variations has long been a key concem for pavement designers. Until now, estimates or "best guess" moisture levels provided the basis for design parameters. Today, through the use of Time Dornain Reflectometry, moisture content can be calculated accurately and inexpensively.

This document provides infomlation to pavement engineers on Time Domain RefIectometry, a technique that indirectly measures the in situ volumettic moisture content of soil. It describes the technique and presents a model for predicting volumetric l11Qisttlre content.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHVIA) has distributed this document primarily in electronic form. Copies are being sent to FHWA regional and division offices, Strategic HighvlaY Research Program Coordinators, and all data users. A copy can be found through the LTPP web page at http://vl'ww.tfhrc.gov/pavementlltpp/ltpphome.htm by selecting the LTPP Data Base button.

Charles J. Nemmers, P.E.

Office of Engineering, Research and Development



This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade and manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.



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