The Thermal Regime Surrounding a Longitudinal Edge Drain

by Wendy L. Allen,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering


Newton Airfield in Jackman, Maine, was constructed in 1986 to perform as a drained pavement system. The drainage design consisted of a permeable base course with a longitudinal edge drain along one side of the runway. The drain was placed 5 1/2 to 7 ft below the pavement surface to provide service throughout the freezing season. Initial observations of the site showed that during the winter, outflow from the drain outlet stops. Problems with the performance of the system were observed in the form of water coming up through the pavement surface and flowing over the top of the pavement. A hypothesis was proposed that frozen soil material was blocking the flow of water into the drain structure. Instrumentation placed to monitor the ground freezing regime around the drain indicated that the drainage system and the pavement structure thaw relatively quickly. A closer look at the pavement geometry and the permeability of the base course indicated that the base course can not provide the flow capacity to drain the water available from snow melt during the spring thaw period.

Subject Headings: Frozen soils | Thermal effects | Drainage | Airport and airfield pavements | Permeability (material) | Water flow | Base flow | Construction materials | Maine | United States

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