Piling in Frozen Ground

by Frederick E. Crory, (M.ASCE), Research Civ. Engr.; Geotechnical Research Branch, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engrg. Lab., Hanover, N.H. 03755,

Serial Information: Journal of the Technical Councils of ASCE, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 1, Pg. 112-124

Document Type: Journal Paper


Recent construction in northern regions has emphasized the need for economical and reliable foundations, particularly in areas having permanently frozen ground. In many permafrost areas piling can provide cost effective and reliable foundation systems, avoiding the undesirable freeze and thaw cycles at the surface and the potentimlly large settlements which accompany the thawing of permafrost. The design, construction and performance of piles in frozen ground requires a thorough knowledge of the soil and ice conditions at depth and an understanding of the theraml regime. Techniques are available to expedite pile installation and freezeback. Pile testing procedures have been developed for frozen ground, providing design information on short and long term loadings. Field design changes are essential for the installation of pile foundations such as used in elevated pipelines, which are designed on limited soil and permafrost data. Since subsurface conditions in permafrost areas can vary widely over short distances the requirement for close field inspection and ability to redesign is critical to match the actual conditions. Recognizing and avoiding thermal changes created by adjacent foundations, roads, utilities and flowing water will become increasingly important as northern regions develop.

Subject Headings: Permafrost | Foundation design | Frozen soils | System reliability | Foundation settlement | Pile tests | Load tests | Pipeline design

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