Evaluation of soil thermal conductivity models

D. Barry-Macaulay, A. Bouazza, B. Wang, R. M. Singh

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Numerous models have been developed to predict the thermal conductivity of soils at a range of different densities and moisture contents. This paper evaluates four thermal conductivity models, developed by various researchers, by comparing their performance against experimental results obtained on 27 different soils prepared at a range of saturation levels and densities. The results demonstrate that, in general, all four models show good agreement between experimental thermal conductivity and modelled thermal conductivity. The only significant shortfall is observed in low-saturated sands when using two of the models. A detailed analysis of the empirical soil parameters used in three of the recent models is presented. It shows that the accuracy of the three models can be improved by modifying the empirical soil parameters to fit the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1892-1900
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • Heat transfer
  • Soils
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Thermal conductivity models

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