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Triaxial constant stress and constant strain rate tests on ice-rich permafrost samples


A range of mechanical compression tests were conducted on frozen soil samples at temperatures close to the melting point of ice to determine both the creep and the strength properties under triaxial stress conditions. The samples were obtained from two rock glaciers in the Swiss Alps. For comparison, additional samples were prepared artificially for testing. The results showed that the minimum creep strain rate increases exponentially with increasing temperature and applied deviatoric stress. The applied strain rate is the main parameter influencing resistance. However, test results show that the micromechanical behaviour is similar for all tests and independent of the applied loading condition. Measurements of the volumetric strain showed that the sample composition has a major influence, so samples with high air void ratios resulted in continuous contraction (i.e., reduction of the sample volume), whereas samples with low volumetric air and ice contents demonstrated dilatant behaviour. Key words: permafrost, frozen soil, creep, strength, triaxial testing, self-healing.


Arenson, Lukas and Springman, Sarah M.

Index Terms:

Soil; Triaxial stress path tests; Permafrost; SoilGroup; Arenson, Lukas; Springman, Sarah M.

Further Information:

Date published: 2005