Nuclear Measurement of Subgrade Moisture

Report No: 73-R17

Published in 1973

About the report:

The basic consideration in evaluating subgrade moisture conditions under pavements is the selection of a method of determining moisture contents that is sufficiently accurate and can be used with minimal effort, interference with traffic, and recalibrations. In the present study, the electrical resistance method and a nuclear method were tried, and the nuclear method was adopted. The devices and procedures used in both methods are described. Modified methods for eliminating errors in the measurement of moisture by nuclear depth probes were tried and some of these are recommended for use. A method of reducing the standard error of estimate in the use of a nuclear calibration curve for moisture content by utilizing the sieve analysis of a soil is discussed.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • N. K. Vaswani

Last updated: February 6, 2024

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