• The formation of pore ice in coarse grained soils

      Fourie, Walter (2005-12)
      Understanding the formation of pore ice in coarse grained soils is important to geotechnical and geo-environmental projects such as the construction of roads, airstrips and gravel foundations as well as the treatment of contaminated soils in the arctic, sub-arctic, alpine and northern regions. The amount of pore ice present controls the strength characteristics of the soils as well as the flow of fluid through the soil. Tests have been conducted to qualify the impact of gradation, temperature, compaction and initial moisture content on the formation of pore ice in coarse grained soils. The purpose of this study was to prepare a conceptual model of the freezing mechanism in coarse grained soils and to qualify the parameters that influence the ice formation. Results from this study indicate that the presence of fine grained particles in a coarse grained soil greatly impact the depth at which the pore space initially becomes saturated with ice. A conceptual model was developed and its application is shown with regards to the process of thaw weakening in roads and the creation of preferential flow paths in permeable reactive barriers.