Accession Number:



Geotechnical and Foundation Review for the McMurdo Master Plan

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

ERDC HANOVER United States

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Construction of large buildings is currently part of the major infrastructure development plan at McMurdo Station. Therefore, the overall goal of this study is to provide recommendations for selecting better-suited foundation designs for the new facilities by using existing geotechnical studies recently taken on site. Based on a detailed visual assessment of photos from the geotechnical coring conducted by a third-party consultant, we interpreted the results to indicate that ice-poor to nearly ice-free ground-ice conditions exist nearly everywhere across McMurdo Station and at a depth less than 3 m. This assessment provides foundation design options to prepare for the new development by excavating the near-surface ground-ice interval, replacing with compacted non-frost-susceptible fill material, and constructing shallow foundations with at-grade first-floor design. The benefits of the shallow foundation design include lower construction material needs, increased energy efficiency, optimized drainage and snowice accumulation prevention, increased seismic safety, and more appealing architecture for an austere environment.

Subject Categories:

  • Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy
  • Civil Engineering

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