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Secondary frost heave in freezing soils

By C. Noon

Abstract

Frost heave describes the phenomenon whereby soil freezing causes upwards surface motion due to the action of capillary suction imbibing water from the unfrozen region below. The expansion of water on freezing is a small part of the overall surface heave and it is the flow of water towards the freezing front which is largely responsible for the uplift. In this thesis, we analyse a model of frost heave due to Miller (1972, 1978) which is referred to as `secondary frost heave'. Secondary frost heave is characterised by the existence of a `partially frozen zone', underlying the frozen soil, in which ice and water coexist in the pore space. In the first part of the thesis we follow earlier work of Fowler, Krantz and Noon where we show that the Miller model for incompressible soils can be dramatically simplified. The second part of the thesis then uses this simplification procedure to develop simplified models for saline and compressible soils. In the latter case, the development of the theory leads to the consideration of non-equilibrium soil consolidation theory and the formation of segregated massive ice within permafrost. The final part of the thesis extends the simplified Miller model to the analysis of differential frost heave and the formation of patterned ground (e.g. earth hummocks and stone circles). We show that an instability mechanism exists which provides a plausible theory for the formation of these types of patterned ground

Topics: Geophysics, Partial differential equations, Approximations and expansions, Numerical analysis
Year: 1996
OAI identifier: oai:generic.eprints.org:27/core69

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