Building Foundation on Thawed Soil and Permafrost

by Howard K. Weston, DOWL Engineers, Anchorage, AK, USA,
Thomas R. Williams, DOWL Engineers, Anchorage, AK, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering


The site of a planned 10,000 square foot State Youth Facility in Bethel, Alaska was found to be underlain by discontinuous permafrost. This paper describes the geophysical and geotechnical site explorations. Laboratory testing of the site soils was performed to determine particle-size distribution, Atterberg limits, natural moisture content, organic content, thaw consolidation and one-dimensional consolidation properties, and effective shear strength parameters. The soil properties are described along with the interpreted subsurface conditions. The paper describes the pile foundation scheme selected for the building which was sited over both frozen and thawed soils.

Subject Headings: Consolidated soils | Foundations | Permafrost | Soil properties | Soil water | Soil strength | Particle size distribution | Shear strength | Alaska | United States

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