INTERACTION OF GRAVEL FILLS, SURFACE DRAINAGE AND CULVERTS WITH PERMAFROST TERRAIN

During the summers of 1981 and 1982, the thaw regime of gravel roads and the performance of culverts were observed in the Prudhoe Bya and Kuparuk River oilfields, northern Alaska. This relatively flat to gently rolling coastal plain is covered by shallow lakes, drained lake basins and interconnecting ice-wedge polygons. Depth of seasonal thaw of the predominantly fine-grained soils is less than 50 cm. The permafrost temperature is about -10 deg C. A combination of visual frost tube readings and temperature measurements were obtained in the roadbed, in an area immediately adjacent to an insulated culvert, and in areas undisturbed by construction. Gravel roads up to 2 m thick thaw completely and thaw penetrates into the consolidated active layer. Where depth of thaw exceeds the thickness of the active layer, ice-rich permafrost begins to thaw. Adjacent to the roads, newly formed surface troughs indicate melting of the underlying ice wedges. Shallow impoundments form on the upslope sides of roads where culverts have not been adequately sited or installed. More standardized practices for culvert placement, installation, and maintenance are desirable to minimize disruption of natural drainage. (Author)

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 41 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00387366
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: AK-RD-84-11 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: F15631
  • Files: TRIS, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 28 1984 12:00AM