Open access


Recently, there is an increasing need for accurate and rapid thermal measurement of soils. Within a variety of available methods a needle probe test is most widely used. The needle probe method was standardized for the measurement of thermal conductivity of soils and soft rocks. In the paper, two different interpretation methods of the needle probe test were used for determination of thermal conductivity of selected soils. The first method (ASTM D5334-05 Standard approach) takes into account only the data which are recorded during heating while the second approach is based on fitting the known analytical solution to the data obtained within both heating and cooling phases. The soil samples used were classified as clayey ones. Laboratory tests were performed using the KD2Pro thermal conductivity meter (Decagon Devices) with a TR-1 sensor. The main goal of the paper is to show that the selection of interpretation method is very important and may lead to significant differences in resulting thermal conductivities.

[1] ABRAMOWITZ M., STEGUN I.A., Handbook of mathematical functions, Dover Publications, Inc., New York 1972.

[2] ASTM D5334-05 Standard, Standard Test Method for Determination of Thermal Conductivity of Soil and Soft Rock by Thermal Needle Probe Procedure, 2005.

[3] CARSLAW H.S., JAEGER J.C., Conduction of heat in solids, Second edition, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1959.

[4] DE VRIES D.A., Heat transfer in soils, [in:] Heat and Mass Transfer in the Biosphere, I. Transfer Processes in Plant Environment, John Wiley & Sons, New York 1974.

[5] DE VRIES D.A., PECK A.J., On the cylindrical probe method of measuring thermal conductivity with special reference to soils, Austr. Journal of Physics, Vol. 11, 1958.

[6] FAROUKI O.T., Thermal Properties of Soils, CRREL Monograph 81-1, New Hampshire 1981.

[7] FONTANA A.J., VARITH J., IKEDIALA J., REYES J., WACKER B., Thermal properties of selected foods using a dual needle heat-pulse sensor, written for Presentation at the 1999 ASAE/CSAESCGR Annual International Meeting, Toronto, Ontario Canada, July 18-21, 1999.

[8] HANSON J.L., EDIL T.B., YESILLER N., Thermal Properties of High Water Content Materials, Geotechnics of High Water Content Materials, ASTM D5334-05 STP 1374, T.B. Edil and P.J. Fox, (eds.), ASTM D5334-05 International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2000, 137-151.

[9] IEEE Guide for Soil Thermal Resistivity Measurements, 1981.

[10] KD2 Pro Thermal Properties Analyzer Operator’s Manual, Version 10, Decagon Devices, Inc., 2011.

[11] MOHSENIN N.N., Thermal Properties of Foods and Agricultural Materials, Gordon and Breach, New York 1980.

[12] NICOLAS J., ANDR´E P., RIVEZ J.F., DEBBAUT V., Thermal Conductivity Measurements in Soil Using an Instrument Based on the Cylindrical Probe Method, Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 64, No. 3, 1993, 774-780.

[13] RICHE F., SCHNEEBELI M., Microstructural change around a needle probe to measure thermal conductivity of snow, Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 56, No. 199, 2010.

[14] Wolfram Mathematica 7, Wolfram Research, Inc., 2009.

Studia Geotechnica et Mechanica

The Journal of Wrocław University of Science and Technology and AGH University of Science and Technology

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.14

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.131
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.448

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 101 101 7
PDF Downloads 50 50 5