A New Approach for Determination of Volumetric Water Content in Soil Samples by Gamma-Ray Transmission

Celik N., Altin D., ÇEVİK U.

WATER AIR AND SOIL POLLUTION, vol.227, no.6, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 227 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11270-016-2912-1
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


A new method was presented for the purpose of volumetric water content determination in any soil sample by gamma-ray transmission. Monte Carlo (MC) simulation technique was used to determine the functional behavior of the linear attenuation coefficient of soil samples having different water contents for three soil samples. Using this functional behavior, the linear attenuation coefficients of dry soil and water were obtained from the intercept and the slope, respectively. It was experimentally shown that the mass attenuation coefficients of soil samples were not sensitive to the chemical composition but only to the physical density. This independence was exploited in this study to obtain the linear attenuation coefficient of a completely dry soil which was found to be 0.1409, 0.1274, and 0.1657 cm(-1) for Gumushane, Ardahan, and Trabzon soil, respectively. The linear attenuation coefficient of water was determined to be 0.09 cm(-1). Then, the volumetric water contents were obtained by measuring the gamma-ray intensities passed through three wet soil samples. The results were found to be 0.186, 0.182, and 0.214 cm(3) cm(-3) for Gumushane, Ardahan, and Trabzon soil, respectively. The results obtained by the method introduced were compared with the results obtained using gravimetric method. A very good agreement was observed.