Temporal monitoring of the soil freeze-thaw cycles over snow-cover land by using off-ground GPR

Khan Jadoon, Sébastien Lambot, Marin Dimitrov, Lutz Weihermüller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


We performed off-ground ground-penetrating radar (GPR) measurements over a bare agricultural field to monitor the freeze-thaw cycles over snow-cover. The GPR system consisted of a vector network analyzer combined with an off-ground monostatic horn antenna, thereby setting up an ultra-wideband stepped-frequency continuous-wave radar. Measurements were performed during nine days and the surface of the bare soil was exposed to snow fall, evaporation and precipitation as the GPR antenna was mounted 110 cm above the ground. Soil surface dielectric permittivity was retrieved using an inversion of time-domain GPR data focused on the surface reflection. The GPR forward model used combines a full-waveform solution of Maxwell's equations for three-dimensional wave propagation in planar layered media together with global reflection and transmission functions to account for the antenna and its interactions with the medium. Temperature and permittivity sensors were installed at six depths to monitor the soil dynamics in the top 8 cm depth. Significant effects of soil dynamics were observed in the time-lapse GPR, temperature and permittivity data and in particular freeze and thaw events were clearly visible. A good agreement of the trend was observed between the temperature, permittivity and GPR time-lapse data with respect to five freeze-thaw cycles. The GPR-derived permittivity was in good agreement with sensor observations. The proposed method appears to be promising for the real-time mapping and monitoring of the frozen layer at the field scale. © 2013 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2013 7th International Workshop on Advanced Ground Penetrating Radar
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
ISBN (Print)9781479909377
StatePublished - Jul 2013


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