In this work, the complex microstructure of the soil solid, at the microscale, is modeled by prescribing the spatial variability of thermal conductivity coefficient to distinct soil separates. We postulate that the variation of thermal conductivity coefficient of each soil separate can be characterized by some probability density functions: fCl(λ), fSi(λ), fSa(λ), for clay, silt and sand separates, respectively. The main goal of the work is to recover/identify these functions with the use of back analysis based on both computational micromechanics and simulated annealing approaches. In other words, the following inverse problem is solved: given the measured overall thermal conductivities of composite soil find the probability density function f(λ) for each soil separate. For that purpose, measured thermal conductivities of 32 soils (of various fabric compositions) at saturation are used. Recovered functions f(λ) are then applied to the computational micromechanics approach; predicted conductivities are in a good agreement with laboratory results.
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