Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Manjriker Gunaratne, Ph.D.


Fast Fourier Transform, Wavelet, De-noised Signals, Filtering, Threshold


Acoustic emission is a widely used nondestructive technique for identification of structural damage. The AE technique relies on transient energy waves generated by the materials during their failure. As for soils, the basic causes of acoustic emission are the mechanisms which are responsible for shearing of soils. Mobilization of shear strength within a soil itself and the interaction of the soil with the adjacent natural or construction materials are directly related to the level of acoustic emission in soils. It is envisioned that acoustic emission signals in deforming soils can be used as an early warning sign in real time landslide-monitoring systems.This thesis study uses a laboratory experimental setup to record the acoustic emission signals emitted during the shearing of cohesionless soils. Several tests were performed with different rates of shearing with parallel (horizontal) and perpendicular (vertical) placement of the AE mote- sensor with respect to the shear plane. Since the original raw signals recorded contain large amounts of noise, it is necessary to de-noise them. The current study uses wavelet and FFT to de-noise the original signals. The filtered signals obtained using wavelet analysis and FFT are compared to determine the suitability of the two techniques. The peak AE values and the time taken to observe an initial visible peak under different conditions are reported in this study. It is observed that relatively faster rates of shearing generate more AE signals compared to slower rates of shearing. In addition, the rapid shearing produces initial visible peak AE activities within a short period of time than in slow rate of shearing.