• The impact of a fluctuating freezing front on ice formation in freezing soil

      Dillon, Matthew Ryan (2012-12)
      Frost heave is typically associated with the formation of segregation ice in fine-grained soil. Coarse-grained soil is generally considered to be non-frost susceptible. Field observa-tions and laboratory experiments show that coarse-grained soil can be extremely ice-rich in specific conditions. Previous studies have shown that oscillation of the frozen-unfrozen boundary can lead to the formation of ice by a mechanism different from the segregation ice mechanism. Conditions related to the formation of ice in coarse-grained soil were in-vestigated using modern laboratory techniques. Fourteen tests were conducted on five soil types. The thickness of soil subjected to freeze-thaw cycles was varied and controlled by the magnitude and duration of applied soil temperatures. The thickness of the ice formed increased when the sample drainage was limited or prevented during cooling. Under spe-cific conditions, the formation of a discrete ice layer was observed in coarse-grained soils. Seven samples were scanned with the pCT scanner at the completion of the warming and cooling tests. The sub-samples scanned were analyzed in 2D cross-sections, and charac-terized as 3D reconstructions. Frost heave induced by the formation of ice was observed in both fine- and coarse-grained soils, including soils that were found to be traditionally non-frost susceptible.