Finite Element Permafrost Thaw Settlement Model

by Jon F. Sykes, Grad. Student; Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada,
William C. Lennox, Assoc. Prof.; Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON,
Robin G. Charlwood, Design Consultant; Acres Consulting Services Ltd., Niagara Falls, ON, Canada,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 11, Pg. 1185-1201

Document Type: Journal Paper


A finite element model for the filtration consolidation of thawing permafrost is developed. The model is capable of temperature, pore pressure, and displacement and includes the effects of heat transfer by forced convection and conduction as well as the effect of a variable geometry. The model results are compared to available analytical results. Potential applications include the analysis of heated pipelines buried in permafrost and the effects of dams, dykes, or other structures located on permafrost.

Subject Headings: Finite element method | Permafrost | Buried pipes | Filtration | Temperature effects | Pore pressure | Displacement (mechanics) | Heat transfer

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