Shear Strength in the Zone of Freezing in Saline Soils

by Edwin J. Chamberlain, US Army Corps of Engineers, Cold, Regions Research & Engineering, Lab, Hanover, NH, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Civil Engineering in the Arctic Offshore


The design of artificial islands and other geotechnical structures to support arctic offshore petroleum resource development requires considerable knowledge of the strength of frozen saline soils. Laboratory direct shear strength tests were conducted on sand and clay soil samples as they were freezing. Samples prepared with seawater and distilled water were tested in a modified direct shear box at shear plane temperatures ranging from 0 degree C to minus 5 degree C. It is shown that the shear strength reduction of the saline clay soil is principally the result of increased unfrozen water content. It is postulated that knowledge of unfrozen water content relationships for frozen saline soils will allow better predictive capabilities for the shear strength in the freezing zone.

Subject Headings: Salt water | Shear strength | Soil strength | Frozen soils | Clays | Water content | Salinity | Shear tests | Arctic

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