RESEARCH PAPERS: Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering

A Study of Frost-Heave Mechanics of High-Clay Content Soils

[+] Author and Article Information
R. N. Yong, A. E. Tucker

Geotechnical Research Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

P. Boonsinsuk

Soil Properties and Behavior, Geotechnical Research Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

J. Energy Resour. Technol 106(4), 502-508 (Dec 01, 1984) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3231114 History: Received November 01, 1983; Revised February 10, 1984; Online October 22, 2009


In this study, the problem of frost penetration in high-clay content soils is examined with the view to assessment of cyclic freeze-thaw effects on initial virgin unfrozen natural clays. The requirements for control of the frost-heave problem in many construction projects in the northern regions of Eastern Canada demand that proper prediction be made for both frost-heave pressures and magnitudes of frost heaving in the high-clay content soils. Laboratory cyclic freeze-thaw and frost-heave tests conducted have shown that the mechanical properties of the clay soils, which are virgin unfrozen natural soil samples obtained from Northern Quebec, are sensitive to cyclic freeze-thaw. In the cyclic freeze-thaw tests conducted, scanning electron micrographs taken from samples after various cycles show that the original soil fabric becomes more disturbed after the first few cycles. Particles are re-arranged, and a regrouping of particles into larger stable (or apparently stable) soil fabric units are formed after a certain number of cycles. In essence, this study provides the experimental information concerning the cyclic freeze-thaw effects on mechanical properties for some high-clay content soils, not initially subject to freezing.

Copyright © 1984 by ASME
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