Dynamic Cone Penetrometer Incorporated with Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) Sensors for the Evaluation of Water Contents in Sandy Soils

Won Taek Hong, Jung Doung Yu, Sang Yeob Kim, Jong-Sub Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Ground moisture content and strength properties are the most important factors for a proper assessment of ground stability. This study developed a dynamic cone penetrometer incorporated with time domain reflectometry (TDR) sensors (TDCP). The TDCP is composed of an anvil, a driving rod, and a TDCP probe. Three wave guides and a K-type thermocouple are installed on the TDCP probe. For utilization of TDCP, relationships between relative permittivities measured by TDCP and those measured by standard TDR probe, temperature, and volumetric water content of the soils were investigated. In addition, the relationship between penetration indices by TDCP (TPI) and by standard dynamic cone penetrometer was established. In the field application test, relative permittivity, ground temperature, and TPI were measured along the depth. Moreover, gravimetric water contents were also measured for comparison. The experimental results showed that volumetric water contents compensated by ground temperature showed good agreement with the volumetric water contents estimated from the gravimetric water contents of the soil samples and TPI. This study suggests that the TDCP may be effectively used for the evaluation moisture contents and for the strength characterization of the subsurface.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 5



  • dynamic cone penetrometer
  • penetration index
  • relative permittivity
  • time domain reflectometry
  • volumetric water content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this