Skip to Main Content
GEOREF RECORD

Degradation of permafrost beneath a road embankment enhanced by heat advected in groundwater

Isabelle de Grandpre, Daniel Fortier and Eva Stephani
Degradation of permafrost beneath a road embankment enhanced by heat advected in groundwater (in Fundamental and applied research on permafrost in Canada--Recherche fondamentale et appliquee sur le pergelisol au Canada, C. R. Burn (editor) and M. Allard (editor))
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences = Revue Canadienne des Sciences de la Terre (August 2012) 49 (8): 953-962

Abstract

For the past few decades, northwestern North America has been affected by climate warming, leading to permafrost degradation and instability of the ground. This is problematic for all infrastructure built on permafrost, especially roads and runways. Thaw settlement and soil consolidation promote embankment subsidence and the development of cracks, potholes, and depressions in road pavement. In this study, we investigate highway stability in permafrost terrain at an experimentally built road embankment near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A network of 25 groundwater monitoring wells was installed along the sides of the road to estimate groundwater flow and its thermal impact on the permafrost beneath the road. Data on topography, water-table elevation, ground temperature, and stratigraphy of the soil were collected at the site. The geotechnical properties of each soil layer were determined by laboratory analysis and used to calibrate a two-dimensional groundwater flow model. Field observations showed that water was progressively losing heat as it flowed under the road embankment. Our results suggest that advective heat transfer related to groundwater flow accelerated permafrost degradation under the road embankment


ISSN: 0008-4077
EISSN: 1480-3313
Coden: CJESAP
Serial Title: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences = Revue Canadienne des Sciences de la Terre
Serial Volume: 49
Serial Issue: 8
Title: Degradation of permafrost beneath a road embankment enhanced by heat advected in groundwater
Title: Fundamental and applied research on permafrost in Canada--Recherche fondamentale et appliquee sur le pergelisol au Canada
Author(s): de Grandpre, IsabelleFortier, DanielStephani, Eva
Author(s): Burn, C. R.editor
Author(s): Allard, M.editor
Affiliation: Universite de Montreal, Departement de Geographie, Montreal, QC, Canada
Affiliation: Carleton University, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Pages: 953-962
Published: 201208
Text Language: English
Summary Language: French
Publisher: National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
References: 33
Accession Number: 2012-094282
Categories: Engineering geologyHydrogeology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Accessed on August 23, 2012
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables, sketch maps
Source Medium: WWW
N62°19'60" - N62°19'60", W140°49'60" - W140°49'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Universite Laval, CAN, CanadaUniversite Laval, CAN, Canada
Country of Publication: Canada
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 201249
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal