Suggested best practice for geotechnical characterisation of permafrost in the Nordic countries

Frederik Ancker Agergaard, Thomas Ingeman-Nielsen, Niels Nielsen Foged

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Even though permafrost is a specialty within Nordic geotechnical engineering, engineers and researcher will be faced with managing the consequences of projected climatic influences to construction design in permafrost areas. This requires the determination of the frozen soil engineering properties largely influenced by the content of ice in the soil. This paper presents and discusses different methodologies for laboratory determination of the soil bulk density, ice content, unfrozen water content, strength and deformation properties as well as thermal properties from frozen soil core samples. It is proposed that a best practice for permafrost characterisation employs sample volume determination based on the Archimedes principle and that ice contents are presented as the volume fraction of excess ice to the frozen sample volume. Furthermore, direct measurements of unfrozen water content and thermal properties should be preferred, while soil residual salinity should always be determined. The procedure for determination of strength and deformation properties should be subject to projected soil temperature at end of construction service lifetime.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of Nordic Geotechnical Meeting
    Publication date2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventNordic Geotechnical Meeting - Tivoli Congress Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 9 May 201212 May 2012
    Conference number: 16


    ConferenceNordic Geotechnical Meeting
    LocationTivoli Congress Center
    Internet address


    • Laboratory tests
    • Codes of practice & standards
    • Snow ice and frost
    • Thermal effects
    • Strength and testing of materials


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    • Nordic Geotechnical Meeting

      Frederik Ancker Agergaard (Speaker)

      9 May 201212 May 2012

      Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations

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