Pre-Thawing: From Mining to Civil Engineering; A Historical Perspective

Gold miners in the north were the first to develop the techniques for thawing permafrost. They first used fires and hot stones to thaw frozen ground, until steam thawing was discovered in 1898 by Clarence J. Berry. Then miners soon started experimenting with hot-water in place of the steam, however hot-water thawing was never widely used. Then in the late-1910’s, cold-water thawing was introduced in two methods called the Miles Method and the Pearce Method. Both cold-water methods were much more economical and efficient compared to steam thawing. These Canadian and Alaskan thawing methods soon spread to Russia where they adapted and further developed it. The methods were also adapted for civil engineering work in northern regions. Today, these thawing methods are still used in construction and mining.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 22-31
  • Monograph Title: Cold Regions Engineering 2009. Cold Regions Impact on Research, Design and Construction

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01144175
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784410721
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 12 2009 12:24PM