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By: Philipp Pohlig (B1)
Date: 18/09/2017 – 19/09/2017
Locations: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

The autumn school “Moisture measurement in porous mineral materials” was organised and led by PD Dr. Katja Emmerich, Competence Center for Material Moisture (CMM), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). It took place in Karlsruhe from September, 18 to 19. It covered a broad range of topics concerning water content measurements on different scales. The talks were presented by speakers with different scientific backgrounds ranging from physicists, chemists, geoscientists as well as civil, material or electrical engineers. The reason for me to attend the autumn school was due to the fact that I have had to measure and analyse lots of soil moisture data so that the topics of the autumn school fitted very well to my recent working field within my TR32 subproject.

Especially the possibility to get into contact with researchers from backgrounds other than a geoscientific background was a reason for me to register for participation. The autumn school was based on talks and applied examples, which were presented by chosen international experts of their respective research fields, whereby the main scope of all topics was more or less connected with water content of mineral materials with a strong emphasis on clay minerals or clayey soils.

The first thematic block dealt with mineralogy of clays and the water binding processes within clay layers. Different measurement approaches were presented and problems of the respective methods were discussed. In a next step, a detailed overview of how clay minerals bind water was given. Then dielectric properties of water and solutions were introduced and their characteristic dielectric spectra were discussed in detail. Finally, as the first day’s last topic, different models referring to the permittivity of soils were presented and their respective advantages and disadvantages were worked out.

The first talk of the second day included a detailed introduction of different measurement techniques like TDR, FD, SAR, or GPR. Applied examples were given in order to show the possibilities and drawbacks of the respective techniques. On the basis of the knowledge received by the sessions of the first one and a half days, three keynote speakers presented their scientific working fields and how they deal with moisture measurements and what scientific concepts they refer to. The first two keynote talks included i) a hydrol-ecological and ii) a geological perspective which showed very strong overlapping with approaches and research questions followed by a number of subprojects of TR32. In contrast, the last keynote speaker finally introduced moisture measurements and analyses of building materials such as concrete or wood, which clearly illustrated how scientifically developed methods find their way in applied working fields.

As a result of the autumn school, the fruitful discussions after each talk once again proved that it is always beneficial to consider not only the scope and scale one is interested in but also to consider neighbouring approaches and scales in order to receive a broader and more complete understanding of the processes occurring. Hence, I can deeply recommend the autumn school for fellow PhD students and post-docs working within TR32.

For further information, please contact:


 

tn328 54d609d0981ab

Nadine Heinrichs

IRTG Coordinator


University of Cologne
Institute for
Geophysics and Meteorology

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
D-50923 Cologne
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+49 (0)221 470 5161
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