Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 431–436 | Cite as

Experimental investigations on the influence of cyclical freezing and thawing on physical and mechanical properties of saline soil

  • Hui Bing
  • Ping He
Original Article


Uniaxial compressive strength experiments were performed on saline loess different water and salt contents, and multiple freeze/thaw cycles at room temperature. The experiments revealed changes to the stress–strain curve and the failure mode of the saline loess. The results indicated that soil strength is intensified or weakened during freezing and thawing due to the injection of sodium sulfate solute. Cyclical freezing and thawing is a process to get a new dynamic equilibrium, and under these experimental conditions, six freeze–thaw cycles are need for loess with sodium sulfate to reach a new dynamic equilibrium.


Cyclical freezing and thawing Sodium sulfate Uniaxial compressive strength Loess 



Funding for this work was provided by National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (No. 40901039) and the West Light Doctoral Foundation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. 290928591), the Western Project Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. KZCX2-XB2-10). All support is gratefully acknowledged.


  1. Bing H, He P, Yang C, Shi Y, Zhao S, Bian X (2007) Impact of sodium sulfate on soil frost heaving in an open system. Appl Clay Sci 35:189–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bondarenko G, Sadovsky V (1994) Water content effect of the thawing clay soils on shear strength. In: Balkema A (ed) Proceedings of the 7th international symposium on ground freezing, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp 123–127Google Scholar
  3. Broms B, Yao Y (1964) Shear strength of a soil after freezing and thawing. J Soil Mech Found Div Am Soc Civ Eng 90(4):1–26Google Scholar
  4. Chuvilin Y, Yazynin O (1988) Frozen soil macro and micro structure formation. In: Proceedings of the 5th international conference on permafrost. Tapir Publishers, Trondheim, Norway, pp 320–323Google Scholar
  5. Ono T, Mitachi T (1997) Computer controlled triaxial freeze thaw shear apparatus. In: Balkema A (ed) Proceedings of the 8th international symposium on ground freezing, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp 335–339Google Scholar
  6. Qi J, Vermeer P, Cheng G (2006) A review of the influence of freeze–thaw cycles on soil geotechnical properties. Permafr Periglac Process 17:245–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Swan C, Greene C (1998) Freeze–thaw effects on Boston blue clay. In: Maher A, Yang D (eds) Proceedings of annual conference on soil improvement for big digs, Am Soc Civil Eng, vol 81, pp 161–176Google Scholar
  8. Velli Y (1980) Foundations on complex permafrost soils. In: US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, SR 80-40 and Building under cold climates and on permafrost: collection of papers from a US-Soviet joint seminar, Leningrad, USSR 204-217Google Scholar
  9. Wang D, Ma W, Chang X, Sun Z, Feng W, Zhang J (2005) Physico-mechanical properties changes of Qinghai-Tibet clay due to cyclic freezing and thawing. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 24(23):4313–4319 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. Xu X, Wang J, Zhang L, Deng Y, Tao Z (1995) Mechanism of frost heave and salt expansion. Science Press, Beijing, p 40 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  11. Yang C, He P, Cheng G (2003) Testing study on influence of freezing and thawing on dry density and water content of soil. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 22(Suppl):2695–2699 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  12. Yong R, Boonsinsuk P, Yin C (1985) Alternation of soil behavior after cyclic freezing and thawing. In: Balkema A (ed) Proceedings of the 4th international symposium on ground freezing, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp 187–195Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteCASLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Tunnel and Underground Engineering Research Center, Ministry of EducationBeijing Jiaotong UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations