IoT-based Sensing Technology for Real Time Identification of Hydraulic and Shear Strength Properties of Unsaturated Soil for Anticipation against Climate Change in Kazakshtan

Project: CRP

Project Details

Grant Program

Collaborative Research Program for 2022-2024

Project Description

The fundamental goal of this research is to develop an innovative Internet of Thing (IoT) based sensing technology for real-time measurement of unsaturated soil properties in the field, such as soil water retention curve, unsaturated permeability, and unsaturated shear strength. It is very important to have direct measurement of this unsaturated soil property in the field since these unsaturated soil properties are functions of climatic conditions. Global warming contributes to the changes in climatic conditions in the world including in Kazakhstan (Orlovsky et al., 2019). As a result, the physical conditions of soils in Kazakhstan depend on the variations of climatic conditions, such as rainfall, temperature, wind speed, net radiation, relative humidity. Improper identification of the actual conditions of soils in the field may attribute to natural hazards, such as landslide, soil erosion, flooding, excessive settlement, land contamination, and other geotechnical issues which can be associated with many casualties and economic loss. This condition requires a smart sensing technology that is able to identify the changes in soil properties, such as water content, soil suction, permeability, shear strength in real-time. While some commercial solutions are available, all fall short in some aspects. For example, no integrated moisture-suction sensor has been developed to provide water retention curve data beyond 1500 kPa; no sensing technology has been developed to provide unsaturated permeability and unsaturated shear strength directly from the actual soil conditions. Therefore, we propose to develop an IoT-based sensing technology. IoT-based sensing technology is a promising alternative technology to address the shortcomings of traditional tensiometers and to automatically generate water retention curves and determine unsaturated permeability and unsaturated shear strength leveraging time synchronized wireless communication and high-fidelity multi-component sensing capabilities.
Effective start/end date1/1/2212/31/24


  • Unsaturated soil properties
  • Slope instrumentation
  • suction measurement
  • water content measurement


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