Shear Strength of Clay during Thaw

  • Anders Beijer Lundberg
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering book series (SSGG)


Increased vertical depths of non-frozen soil in permafrost profiles have been observed in field measurements, but material behaviour during this thaw process has not been investigated thoroughly. An experimental analysis of the undrained shear strength of clay soil during thaw has therefore been carried out. The reduction of undrained shear strength during the phase change from frozen to residual thawed soil was simulated in a climate controlled room. A clay sample was frozen in -18 °C and then slowly thawed at constant temperature, after which series of vane shear tests were performed. The results show a temperature-dependant reduction in the undrained shear strength of the material. The low soil temperatures in the thawed permafrost layer seen in field tests indicate that this mechanism could have practical significance for the safety of structures located in permafrost areas.


Shear Strength Active Layer Freeze Soil Undrained Shear Strength Test Execution 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Technology DelftDelftNetherlands

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