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Determining the In Situ Apparent Thermal Diffusivity of a Sandy Soil

Oscar Fernando Silva Aguilar, Jorge Alberto Andaverde Arredondo, Beatris Adriana Escobedo Trujillo, Artemio Jesús Benitez Fundora


DOI: 10.1590/18069657rbcs20180025


The thermal wave amplitude method is used to determine soil thermal diffusivity in situ for a sandy soil in Mexico (Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz). Soil diurnal temperature fluctuations were measured from depths of 0.05 to 0.65 m, in 0.01 m increments, during the months of April and August. Five mean diffusivity values were obtained experimentally, corresponding to the different depths combination. The soil thermal diffusivity ranged between 2.26 × 10−7 and 8.71 × 10−7 m2 s−1. The diffusivity values obtained are within the absolute ranges reported in the literature. A positive linear effect between the diffusivity values and depth was observed on a homogeneous sandy soil. These increments are due to the soil moisture variations and the volumetric calorific capacity of the soil. An uncertainty analysis was made to validate our results, resulting in a relative standard deviation with values in the range of 4.51 to 27.37 %. The uncertainties of 0.49 to 26.66 % RSD in the amplitude of the thermal wave are the factor that contributes most to the propagation of errors of the diffusivity.

Determining the In Situ Apparent Thermal Diffusivity of a Sandy Soil