Field measurements of soil thermal conductivity

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Journal titleCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Pages5159; # of pages: 9
SubjectPermafrost; Soils; thermal conductivity; active layer (soils); clay soils; silt; thermal conductivity; field measurements; phase relationships; drying; permafrost; clay; silt; peat
AbstractData representing the seasonal variation of thermal conductivity of the ground at depths within the seasonally active freezing/thawing zone are presented for a number of different soil conditions at four sites across Canada. An inexpensive probe apparatus suitable for routine field measurements is described. In all the cases examined, significant seasonal variations were confined to the first few decimetres. In addition to distinct seasonal differences associated with phase change, quite large changes occurred during the period when the soil was thawed in those cases where seasonal drying was possible. Below the seasonally active zone, thawed soil conductivities did not differ greatly among the three nonpermafrost sites in spite of soil composition ranging from marine clay to sandy silt. The data suggest that, even within a given soil layer, quite significant differences in thermal conductivity may be encountered in engineering structures such as embankments, presumably because of differences in drainage conditions.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number25848
NPARC number20375288
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Record identifier39564c32-218c-417b-aebf-99ace568e60e
Record created2012-07-23
Record modified2016-05-09
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