Geophysical Techniques for Monitoring Settlement Phenomena Occurring in Reinforced Concrete Buildings

Capozzoli, L.; De Martino, G.; Polemio, M.; Rizzo, E., 2020, Geophysical Techniques for Monitoring Settlement Phenomena Occurring in Reinforced Concrete Buildings, Surveys in geophysics 41 (2020): 575–604. doi_10.1007/s10712-019-09554-8,

Geophysical investigations could provide a valid tool for the identification of possible causes of settlement phenomena that affect civil buildings. They provide a non-invasive method of obtaining high-resolution information about the subsoil, saving time and money. However, uncertainties related to the accurate interpretation of the acquired data could potentially reduce the value of these methods. For this reason, the integration of non-invasive tests with direct measurements to support geophysical data interpretation is strongly recommended. This is a fundamental step in the process of defining a sufficiently reliable geological model to explain the cause of failure. Among the various geophysical techniques, electrical resistivity tomography and ground penetrating radar offer significant advantages for monitoring the status of the conservation of civil engineering structures and infrastructures. This paper presents the most recent and beneficial advances of the use of electric and electromagnetic geophysical methods in the field of civil engineering, with particular attention to their applications for monitoring subsidence and settlement phenomena. Finally, the possibilities of the joint use of resistivity and electromagnetic methods for studying the causes of the structural decay that affects two precast buildings are monitored and discussed. The results demonstrate the capability of combining non-destructive geophysical techniques with direct data, for evaluating the safety of building constructions and solving geotechnical problems.

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