Stabilisation thermique des remblais construits sur le pergélisol sensible au dégel à l'aide d'une approche de conception tenant compte de l'accumulation de la neige

Authors: Lanouette, Florence
Advisor: Doré, GuyFortier, Daniel
Abstract: In northern regions, preferential accumulation of an insulating snowpack along linear transportation infrastructures prevents the extraction of heat in winter. In permafrost terrain, this thermal equilibrium modification can be a significant cause of the underlying permafrost degradation, which affects the structural properties of the roadway. Since heat transfers through the snowpack are essentially controlled by the mechanism of conduction, its insulating effect can be counteracted by decreasing the thickness of snow on the slopes and at the toe of the embankment. To achieve this goal, the gentle slope promotes a laminar wind flow that blows snow away easily and, therefore, minimizes its accumulation. The main objective of this research project is to develop a design method aiming for thermal stabilization of linear transportation infrastructures built on permafrost by optimizing the embankment geometry to consider the preferential accumulation of snow. The general approach of the study relies on the use of a 2D model (produced with the modeling software TEMP/W) simulating the snowpack effect on the underlying ground. The monitoring of a transect at Tasiujaq airstrip, in Nunavik, documents the thermal regime in the ground and the evolution of the snowpack. Based on those data, the freezing n-factor was expressed as a function of the snow thickness following a logarithmic equation. This empirical relation is used as an upper boundary of the geothermal model. Once calibrated and validated with the data collected at theTasiujaq test site, the model allows to quantify the impact of the embankment geometry on the temperature gradient in the natural subgrade ground. This gradient is calculated from the temperature at the interface between the embankment and the ground and the temperature at the depth of zero annual amplitude. A temperature gradient of zero or less is aimed to preserve the permafrost. This ground thermal regime is obtained by correcting the temperature at the interface. Therefore, numeric simulations are run for six slopes between 45 and 14% and for three embankment thickness. Finally, these results are presented through an engineering tool calculating the slope needed to assure the thermal stability of the infrastructure depending of the embankment height.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2021
Open Access Date: 14 June 2021
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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