Seasonally Frozen Ground Effects on the Seismic Response of Highway Bridges

AUTC project number: 107014

PI(s):

J. Leroy Hulsey

Funding:
  • US Department of Transportation (RITA)
  • Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities
  • Start Date: Aug 3, 2007
  • End Date: Feb 10, 2010

Project Summary

Permafrost degradation in regions of high seismic activity increases the potential for soil liquefaction, which can be a serious threat to transportation and utility infrastructure, as many professionals observed during the November 2002 Denali Earthquake (magnitude Mw 7.9). This project conducted laboratory studies to investigate the liquefaction resistance of frozen and seasonally frozen ground. Researchers examined how soil liquefaction is influenced by freeze-thaw cycles throughout the year, and how liquefaction is influenced by temperature distribution in degrading permafrost. The results of this study will help establish criteria for liquefaction susceptibility in melting permafrost and soils that regularly undergo freeze-thaw cycles.