Freeze-thaw electrical resistivity hysteresis response of frost susceptible clayey sands

Rui Liu, Daniel Offenbacker, Cheng Zhu, John Schmalzel, Yusuf Mehta, Benjamin Barrowes, Danney Glaser, Wade Lein

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In this study, we carry out lab-scale 1D electrical resistivity measurements of frost-susceptible clayey sands, focusing on several major influencing factors including initial water content, soil density, temperature, and freezing/thawing conditions. Soil columns are configured following a four-pole type Wenner electrode array and placed in an environmental chamber to reach target temperatures (-20°C to 0°C). We use a portable resistivity meter for temporal electrical resistivity measurements and thermocouples for temperature measurements. Experimental results highlight the significant dependence of soil electrical resistivity on temperature. Above the freezing point, higher initial liquid water content and larger bulk density decrease the electrical resistivity. Below the freezing point, soil resistivity increases with decreasing temperature. We observe a hysteresis effect on the evolution of electrical resistivity during the freeze thaw cycle. This study presents a relationship between the electrical resistivity of frozen soil and the key governing parameters.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)350-359
Number of pages10
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 325
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo: From Traditional to Emerging Geotechnics, IFCEE 2021 - Dallas, United States
Duration: May 10 2021May 14 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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