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Effects of volumetric ice content and strain rate on shear strength under triaxial conditions for frozen soil samples


A set of triaxial constant strain rate and constant stress tests was performed on artificially frozen soil samples to study the effect of the volumetric ice fraction, strain rate and also confining stress on the mobilized shear strength. In general, the peak shear strength increased with decreasing volumetric ice content and increasing strain rate. Pure ice samples, however, showed a peak shear strength that was higher than that for those containing about 80% ice by volume for a similar strain rate, although the loss in strength after this maximum was usually much more pronounced, reaching a lower large strain strength than that for frozen sands. The influence of the ice in samples with low ice contents was primarily noticeable at low strains, whereas the large strain behaviour was very similar to that of the unfrozen material. The tests showed the dependency of the mechanical failure and deformation mode of frozen soils on the loading conditions. It could be demonstrated further that large strains have a significant influence on the strength of frozen geo-materials and therefore efforts should be made to establish in situ strain states when analysing the stability of frozen slopes. Copyright # 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Arenson, Lukas and Johansen, Martha M. and Springman, Sarah M.

Index Terms:

Soil; SoilGroup; frozen soil; Shear Strength; triaxial testing; creep; Arenson, Lukas; Johansen, Martha M.; Springman, Sarah


Published online in Wiley InterScience ( DOI: 10.1002/ppp.498

Further Information:

Date published: 2004