American Society of Civil Engineers

Probabilistic Analysis of Thaw Penetration in Fairbanks, Alaska

by Ted S. Vinson, (Professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331) and Yoon-Shin Bae; formerly, Graduate Student, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
Section: Frozen Ground Engineering/General, pp. 712-723, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Cold Regions Engineering: Cold Regions Impacts on Transportation and Infrastructure
Abstract: A probabilistic approach may be adopted to predict freeze and thaw depths to account for the variability of (1) material properties, and (2) contemporary and future surface energy input parameters (e.g. air temperatures, cloud cover, snow cover) predicted with global climate models. To illustrate the probabilistic approach, an example of the prediction of thaw depths in Fairbanks, Alaska, is considered. More specifically, the Stefan equation is used together with the Monte Carlo simulation technique to make a probabilistic prediction of thaw penetration. The simulation results indicate that the variability in material properties, surface energy input parameters, and temperature data can lead to significant uncertainty in predicting thaw penetration.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Freeze and thaw