Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/hess-2016-662
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
09 Jan 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Effectiveness of distributed temperature measurements for early detection of piping in river embankments
Silvia Bersan1, André R. Koelewijn2, and Paolo Simonini1 1Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Padova, Padova, 35131, Italy
2Department of Dike Technology, Deltares, Delft, 2600 MH, the Netherlands
Abstract. Internal erosion is the cause of a significant percentage of failure and incidents involving both dams and river embankments in many countries. In the past 20 years the use of fibre-optic Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) in dams has proved to be an effective tool for detection of leakages and internal erosion. This work investigates the effectiveness of DTS for dike monitoring, focusing on early detection of backward erosion piping, a mechanism that affects the foundation layer of structures resting on permeable, sandy soils. The paper presents data from a piping test performed on a large-scale experimental dike equipped with a DTS system together with a large number of accompanying sensors. The effect of seepage and piping on the temperature field is analysed, eventually identifying the processes that cause the onset of thermal anomalies around piping channels and thus enable their early detection. Making use of dimensional analysis, the factors that influence that thermal response of a dike foundation are identified. Eventually some tools are provided that can be helpful for the design of monitoring systems and for interpretation of temperature data.

Citation: Bersan, S., Koelewijn, A. R., and Simonini, P.: Effectiveness of distributed temperature measurements for early detection of piping in river embankments, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2016-662, in review, 2017.
Silvia Bersan et al.
Silvia Bersan et al.
Silvia Bersan et al.

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