Compression Strength of Frozen Gravel Materials from McMurdo Station, Antarctica
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER HANOVER NH HANOVER United States
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The plan to modernize McMurdo Station involves constructing large buildings for more efficient facilities and infrastructure. Foundation design for these large buildings will require understanding of the mechanical properties of the native soil. This study is the first that we are aware of to conduct uniaxial compression tests on materials from McMurdo Station in their frozen state. The testing used in this study emulates specific ground conditions measured on-site. Reconstituted specimens of well-graded gravel basalt were compacted at 4 and 20 by weight moisture contents and frozen at temperatures of 7C and 20C. Test results determined that higher moisture content combined with lower ambient temperatures resulted in increased strengths compared to optimum moisture and compaction testing results. If new building foundations will be in direct contact with the ground and allow heat transfer to take place, then the base material should be placed and compacted at the optimum moisture content. This will reduce the potential effects of thaw degradation under the foundation, especially on ice-rich ground.
- Soil Mechanics
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost