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Application of Time Domain Reflectometry and Heat Pulse Methods for Quantifying Phase Change, Water Flow and Heat Transport in Frozen Soils

  • Author / Creator
    He, Hailong
  • Understanding water flow and heat transport processes in frozen/freezing soils is limited by methodologies for simultaneous, automated measurement of soil properties affecting soil water and heat flux. The major objective of this dissertation was to develop and evaluate time domain reflectometry (TDR) and heat pulse (HP) methodologies to measure soil liquid-water and ice content and soil thermal properties in order to better understand the physics of water flow and heat transport in frozen soils. Extensive lab work was performed and datasets from published work and soil moisture monitoring stations were used to validate and apply these methodologies. The main results are: (1) two multiphase dielectric mixing models that can be parameterized with unfrozen soil and implemented in frozen soils to accurately estimate liquid-water and ice content simultaneously with TDR method alone; (2) application of the developed TDR method to field data facilitates the understanding of soil freeze-thaw processes and snowmelt infiltration under natural boundary conditions despite the assumption of constant soil water content; (3) the dual probe HP method in combination with the TDR method can be used to quantify HP-induced ice melting and correct HP-measured specific heat capacity at high subfreezing temperatures; and (4) the soil freezing-thawing curve (SFTC) measured with these methods can be used explain the hysteresis, freeze-thaw processes, snowmelt infiltration and ice melting resulted from HP method. The application of these methodologies will advance the understanding of mass and energy transport in frozen soils and will spur the development of more innovative methodologies.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R31J97G84
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Renewable Resources
  • Specialization
    • Water and Land Resources
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dyck, Miles (Renewable Resources)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Silins, Uldis (Renewable Resources)
    • Dyck, Miles (Renewable Resources)
    • Olefeldt, David (Renewable Resources)
    • Si, Bing (Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan)
    • Mendoza, Carl (Earth and Atmosphere Science)