Ice Column Design Concept for Summit Station: Laboratory Testing Results
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER HANOVER NH COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB
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Elevated structures in polar regions must be lifted periodically to maintain clearance above the snow surface. At the 2010 Lift Systems Workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Sadler 2010 presented a design concept for a building lift system that uses ice columns for support. We conducted laboratory tests of Sadlers heated slip form footer design concept at temperature conditions representing those at Summit Station, Greenland -20 deg C -4 deg F. We explored its ability to 1 form an ice column and 2 be heated and lifted up through snow. Additionally, we 3 accessed the heater through the maintenance panel, and 4 conducted expedient compression tests on the resultant ice column. These tests revealed significant technical challenges. We were able to work around them to grow a continuous, two-segment ice column, heat and lift the slip form up through 23 cm 9 in. of compacted snow, and successfully remove and replace the maintenance panel. Based on the significant compression strength achieved with this technique, we recommend evaluating the combination of in-situ resources i.e., snow, ice, and water for use as foundation construction materials in polar regions. Accommodating both high compressive and high tensile forces will be particularly challenging. Initial guidance suggests maintaining snow and ice at or below -20 deg C -4 deg F at all times higher temperatures cause rapid increases in settlement and compression rates.
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost
- Structural Engineering and Building Technology