Influence of Surface Conditions on Surface Temperature

by Thomas C. Kinney, Shannon & Wilson Inc, Fairbanks, AK, USA,
Dean Baldassari, Shannon & Wilson Inc, Fairbanks, AK, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Research on Transportation Facilities in Cold Regions

Abstract: Geotechnical engineers working in areas of discontinuous permafrost are frequently faced with the necessity of designing facilities with a minimum of thermal disturbance. Construction activities cause a change in the surface characteristics that usually result in an increase in surface temperature during the summer months. Over permafrost, increased surface temperatures during the summer will cause a deepening of the active layer and may cause complete thawing of the permafrost. If the permafrost is not thaw stable, settlement will result. The summer thermal disturbance can be minimized by using an appropriate ground cover. There are two common methods for determining the effect of surface characteristics on the ground thermal regime: (1) the 'N' factor approach and (2) surface energy balance. This report presents the results of a field test performed in Fairbanks, Alaska, to establish the effects of various surface coverings on the summer temperatures near the ground surface.

Subject Headings: Temperature effects | Permafrost | Thermal effects | Temperature distribution | Field tests | Frozen soils | North America | Alaska | United States | Fairbanks

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