Time domain reflectometry measurements of oil sands tailings water content: A study of influencing parameters

CIM Journal, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2013
A. R. Sorta, D. C. Sego, and G. W. Wilson University of Alberta, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Markin/CNRL Natural Resources Engineering Facility, Edmonton, AB

Temperature, solute, texture and thixotropic effects on time
domain reflectometry (TDR) measurements of water content in oil sands tailings
are investigated.  Results indicate
that TDR water content measurements are influenced by temperature, residual
bitumen and percent clay in the tailings. 
Apparent dielectric constant (Ka) correction of 0.03–0.10/°C is required
to account temperature effect.  The
Ka-volumetric water content relationships of slurry significantly differ from
the commonly used Topp’s calibration equation.  The age of the tailings and the addition
of Phosphogypsum did not influence TDR water content measurements.
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