Thermal Effects in Permafrost

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Journal titleTechnical Paper, Division of Building Research, National Research Council Canada
SubjectPermafrost; Soils; thermal properties; climatic loads; surface temperature; freeze thaw cycles; drainage
AbstractThe role of climate and, in particular, air temperature in determining the geographical distribution of permafrost is discussed briefly for Canadian conditions. The thermal properties of permafrost materials and the climatic factors that make up the surface heat balance are discussed in general terms. The importance of surface materials in determining the ground thermal regime is illustrated by a number of theoretical calculations based on a one- dimensional finite-difference model. Using a simplified two- dimensional finite-difference model, theoretical calculations of thawing round a hot oil pipeline and freezing around a cold gas pipeline are presented and the settlement and stability problems that would result are discussed qualitatively. The importance of drainage and the effect of water bodies on permafrost is commented on. Finally, a brief review is given of current design and construction practice to minimize thermal disturbance when placing fills and foundations in permafrost regions.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number12716
NPARC number20373760
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Record identifier7a99c8bb-ca73-4507-8cfe-f122e532d19e
Record created2012-07-23
Record modified2016-05-09
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