Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering


Cheng Zhu, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

John Schmalzel, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Benjamin Barrowes, Ph.D.

Committee Member 3

Yusuf Mehta, Ph.D.

Committee Member 4

Gilson Lomboy, Ph.D.


soil properties, frozen soil, electrical resistivity, cold regions


Soil mechanics


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Electromagnetic induction was utilized in the past by the United States Army Corps of Engineers as a method of detecting unexploded ordinance, while it has the potential to act as a novel method of investigating frozen soils in cold regions. In this study, we performed lab-scale 1D electrical resistivity measurements under freeze-thaw circumstances on frost-susceptible soils with varied soil properties. We implemented an empirical model from our experiments into a COMSOL finite element model at both laboratory and field scales to simulate soil electrical resistivity response under both short-term and long-term sub-freezing conditions. Dynamic temperature-dependent soil properties, most notably unfrozen water content, exert significant influences on the observed electrical resistivity. We also characterized the evolution of electrical resistivity during the freeze-thaw cycle with empirical models. Laboratory and field experiments were made to validate the effectiveness of the iFrost Mapper device in detecting typical patterns of metal, liquid, and soil samples of different concentrations and temperatures. The original data were processed by considering both inphase and quadrature responses. Meanwhile, simulation studies with similar parameters to the laboratory tests, including geometry, material properties, and physical conditions, and the samples were made in COMSOL Multiphysics to compare the analytical solutions and experimental data.