Computer Predictions of Thaw Beneath Gravel Embankments on Warm Permafrostby Susan R. Bigl, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and, Engineering Lab, Hanover, United States,
Richard L. Berg, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and, Engineering Lab, Hanover, United States,
Document Type: Proceeding Paper
Part of: Cold Regions Engineering
A computer model was used to simulate the freeze-thaw effects of gravel embankments on warm permafrost typical of south-central Alaska using a one-dimensional finite-difference code, FREZ1D. The model predicted that a gravel embankment can be constructed on an ice-rich clay permafrost without generating excessive amounts of thaw settlement. Gravel embankments thicker than 19 ft are predicted to contain thaw penetrations for a 10-yr period experiencing air temperatures similar to the 1976-86 decade. Thinner embankments will require additional treatments to prevent thaw from penetrating the permanently frozen clay. Inclusion of extruded polystyrene insulation at 2 ft below the gravel surface was extremely effective in reducing thaw penetration depths.
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