Special Pile Foundations for a Coastal Permafrost Site

by Howard Thomas, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Anchorage, AK, USA,
Keith Mobley, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Anchorage, AK, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering


The design of the plant's foundations had to address several challenging geotechnical conditions. These included (1) 'warm' (close to 32 degree F) permafrost at this coastal site, (2) high salinity of the soil pore water, and (3) large frost-jacking forces anticipated as frost penetrates unbonded silty subsoils following placement of a gravel fill in the shallow seawater initially covering the site. The foundation design solution developed for the project was a special sleeved pipe pile placed in a predrilled hole. The paper addresses the design development and construction problems, including results of thermal and wave equation analyses, load tests, and several cold weather construction aspects.

Subject Headings: Pile foundations | Foundation design | Coastal environment | Permafrost | Penetration tests | Cold region construction | Thermal analysis | Wave equations | Alaska | United States

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