Route Thaw Settlement: A Probabilistic Evaluation

by Charles L. Vita, R&M Consultants Inc, Woodinville, WA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Civil Engineering in the Arctic Offshore


A methodology is outlined for assessing potential differential thaw settlement effects on structures due to permafrost degradation along transportation routes in the offshore, nearshore, or onshore environments. An illustrative application to an offshore pipeline buried in permafrost is presented. The probabilistic methodology provides estimates of total and differential thaw settlement means, standard deviations, and, using random field theory, reliability against excessive differential thaw settlement. Applicable at any stage of planning and design, the evaluation methodology is formulated to fit within an overall systems approach to arctic transportation facility engineering. Methods are directed toward practical applications.

Subject Headings: Differential settlement | Probability | Soil settlement | Offshore structures | Buried pipes | Freeze and thaw | Structural settlement | Chemical degradation | Arctic

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