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Transient water flow around a buried artificial landmine and the associated surface thermal response.
AuthorWeir, Walker Blackburn
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The detection of landmines via surface thermal sensing may be improved by applying soil modeling to the problem. Increased water retention above a buried, impermeable object changes the flow of water and heat thereby altering the surface expression of heat. To explore this idea, experiments at the Desert Research Institute’s Ecologically Controlled Enclosed Lysimeter Laboratories (EcoCELL) were used to measure transient heat and water distribution around buried artificial landmines. A series of Hydrus 1D and 2D models are presented, that simulate the EcoCELL laboratory experiments and constrain the soil properties of the tested soil. Hydrus 1D models simulating endmember soil conditions supplemented the 2D modeling by adding a surface energy balance. Results indicate a potential for soil watering to enhance the surface thermal signature of a buried object. The 2D modeling show a clear difference in water and heat flow dynamics above a target versus adjacent to the target. The 1D modeling indicates that soil watering has a stronger effect than the thermal properties of the target on surface temperature signals. Limitations of the Hydrus modeling software are discussed, and recommendations for future modeling efforts are detailed.