Project Description

Nearly 70% of the pan-Arctic’s residential, transportation, and industrial facilities are in regions with high risk for permafrost thaw by 2050, and one-third of the pan-arctic infrastructure is in areas where thaw-related settlement currently poses serious impacts on infrastructure and threatens sustainability of local communities. The goal of this project is to investigate settlement behavior of deep foundations for critical infrastructure built on permafrost using numerical modelling. Constitutive model of frozen soils, considering time-dependent and freeze-thaw cyclic features, will be validated using laboratory test results of model piles in an environmentally controlled room. The verified model will be applied to simulate both conventional pile foundations and foundations stabilized by thermosyphons in the Arctic. Permafrost thermal dynamics and response to climate change will be analyzed using different Representative Concentration Pathways, or RCPs (e.g., RCP 2.6, 4.5, 6.5, and 8.5). The outcome of this project will provide a guideline for resilient and robust design of deep foundations in permafrost for the entire service life of the infrastructure with climate change. The high performance computing will accelerate the numerical simulations of settlement behaviors of deep foundations in permafrost during the service life (e.g., 30 or 50 years).