Advertisement

Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 2159–2170 | Cite as

Effect of freeze-thaw cycles on uniaxial mechanical properties of cohesive coarse-grained soils

  • Yong-long Qu
  • Guo-liang Chen
  • Fu-jun Niu
  • Wan-kui Ni
  • Yan-hu MuEmail author
  • Jing Luo
Article
  • 22 Downloads

Abstract

Freeze-thaw cycles are closely related to the slope instability in high-altitude mountain regions. In this study, cohesive coarse-grained soils were collected from a high-altitude slope in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to study the effect of cyclic freeze-thaw on their uniaxial mechanical properties. The soil specimens were remolded with three dry densities and three moisture contents. Then, after performing a series of freeze-thaw tests in a closed system without water supply, the soil specimens were subjected to a uniaxial compression test. The results showed that the stress-strain curves of the tested soils mainly performed as strain-softening. The softening feature intensified with the increasing dry density but weakened with an increase in freeze-thaw cycles and moisture content. The uniaxial compressive strength, resilient modulus, residual strength and softening modulus decreased considerably with the increase of freeze-thaw cycles. After more than nine freeze-thaw cycles, these four parameters tended to be stable. These parameters increased with the increase of dry density and decreased with the increasing moisture content, except for the residual strength which did not exhibit any clear variation with an increase in moisture content. The residual strength, however, generally increased with an increase in dry density. The soil structural damage caused by frozen water expansion during the freeze-thaw is the major cause for the changes in mechanical behaviors of cohesive coarse-grained soils. With results in this study, the deterioration effect of freeze-thaw cycles on the mechanical properties of soils should be considered during the slope stability analysis in high-altitude mountain regions.

Keywords

Freeze thaw cycles Residual strength Resilient modulus Softening modulus Uniaxial compressive strength Slope stability 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to express their gratitude to three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions. This study was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2018YFC1505001), the Key Scientific Research Project of China Gold Group (Grant No. 2016ZGHJ/XZHTL-YQSC-26), the funding from the Department of Transportation of Gansu Province (Grant No. 2017–008), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, CHD (Grant No. 300102268716). The authors would like to thank Prof. ZHANG Shujuan and Mr. CHEN Tao for their kind help during the laboratory tests.

References

  1. Anderson RS (2002) Modeling the tor-dotted crests, bedrock edges, and parabolic profiles of high alpine surfaces of the wind river range. Wyoming. Geomorphology 46(1): 35–58.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0169-555X(02)00053-3 Google Scholar
  2. Aoyama K, Ogawa S, Fukuda M (1985) Temperature dependencies of mechanical properties of soils subjected to freezing and thawing. In Proceedings of the 4th International symposium on Ground Freezing. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: A. A. Balkema. pp 217–222.Google Scholar
  3. Ayers PD (1987) Moisture and density effects on soil shear strength parameters for coarse grained soils. Transactions of the ASAE 30(5): 1282–1287.  https://doi.org/10.13031/2013.30559 Google Scholar
  4. Bu JQ, Wang TL (2015) Influences of freeze-thaw and fines content on mechanical properties of coarse-grained soil. Chinese Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 37(4): 608–614. (In Chinese)  https://doi.org/10.11779/CJGE201504005 Google Scholar
  5. Chamberlain EJ, Gow AJ (1979) Effect of freezing and thawing on the permeability and structure of soils. Engineering Geology 13(1): 73–92.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0013-7952(79)90022-X Google Scholar
  6. Chuvilin YM, Yazynin OM (1988) Frozen soil macro- and microtexture formation. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Permafrost. Tapir Publishers, Trondheim, Norway 1: 320–328.Google Scholar
  7. Eigenbrod KD (1996) Effects of cyclic freezing and thawing on volume changes and permeabilities of soft fine-gained soils. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 33(4): 529–537.  https://doi.org/10.1139/t96-079-301 Google Scholar
  8. Elliott RP, Thornton SI (1988) Resilient modulus and AASHTO pavement design. Transportation Research Record 1196: 116–124.Google Scholar
  9. Fahey BD (1973) An analysis of diurnal freeze-thaw and frost heave cycles in the Indian Peake region of the Colorado Front Range. Arctic and Alpine Research 5(3): 269–281.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00040851.1973.12003706 Google Scholar
  10. Ghazavi M, Roustaie M (2010) The influence of freeze-thaw cycles on the unconfined compressive strength of fiber-reinforced clay. Cold Regions Science and Technology 61(2–3): 125–131.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2009.12.005 Google Scholar
  11. Hansson K, Lundin LC (2006) Equifinality and sensitivity in freezing and thawing simulations of laboratory and in situ data. Cold Regions Science and Technology 44(1): 20–37.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2005.06.004 Google Scholar
  12. Hotineanu A, Bouasker M, Aldaood A, et al. (2015) Effect of freeze-thaw cycling on the mechanical properties of lime-stabilized expansive clays. Cold Regions Science and Technology 119: 151–157.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2015.08.008 Google Scholar
  13. Ishikawa T, Tokoro T, Miura S (2016) Influence of freeze-thaw action on hydraulic behavior of unsaturated volcanic coarsegrained soils. Soils and Foundations 56(5): 790–804.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sandf.2016.08.005 Google Scholar
  14. Kamei T, Ahmed A, Shibi T (2012) Effect of freeze-thaw cycles on durability and strength of very soft clay soil stabilised with recycled Bassanite. Cold Regions Science and Technology 82: 124–129.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2012.05.016 Google Scholar
  15. Kang SC, Xu YW, You QL, et al. (2010). Review of climate and cryospheric change in the Tibetan Plateau. Environmental Research Letters 5(1): 1–8.  https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/5/1/015101 Google Scholar
  16. Konrad JM, Lemieux N (2005) Influence of fines on frost heave characteristics of a well-graded base-course material. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 42(2): 515–527.  https://doi.org/10.1139/t04-115 Google Scholar
  17. Konrad JM (2008) Freezing-induced water migration in compacted base-course materials. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 45(7): 895–909.  https://doi.org/10.1139/t08-024 Google Scholar
  18. Lacelle D, Brooker A, Fraser RH, et al. (2015) Distribution and growth of thaw slumps in the Richardson Mountains-Peel Plateau region, northwestern Canada. Geomorphology 235: 40–51.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.01.024 Google Scholar
  19. Lai YM, Xu XT, Yu WB, et al. (2014) An experimental investigation of the mechanical behavior and a hyperplastic constitutive model of frozen loess. International Journal of Engineering Science 84: 29–53.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijengsci.2014.06.011 Google Scholar
  20. Lai YM, Liao MK, Hu K (2016) A constitutive model of frozen saline sandy soil based on energy dissipation theory. International Journal of Plasticity 78: 84–113.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijplas.2015.10.008 Google Scholar
  21. Lee W, Bohra NC, Altschaeffl AG, et al. (1995) Resilient modulus of cohesive soils and the effect of freeze-thaw. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 32: 559–568.  https://doi.org/10.1139/t95-059 Google Scholar
  22. Leroueil S, Tardif J, Roy M, et al. (1991) Effects of frost on the mechanical behaviour of Champlain Sea clays. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 28(5): 690–697.  https://doi.org/10.1139/t91-083 Google Scholar
  23. Leshchinsky D (2001) Design Dilemma: Use peak or residual strength of soil. Geotextiles and Geomembranes 19(2): 111–125.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0266-1144(00)00007-8 Google Scholar
  24. Li AY, Niu FJ, Zheng H, et al. (2017) Experimental measurement and numerical simulation of frost heave in saturated coarsegrained soil. Cold Regions Science and Technology 137: 68–74.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2017.02.008 Google Scholar
  25. Li GY, Ma W, Mu YH, et al. (2017) Effects of freeze-thaw cycle on engineering properties of loess used as road fills in seasonally frozen ground regions, North China. Journal of Mountain Science 14(2): 356–368.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-016-4005-4 Google Scholar
  26. Li X, Jin R, Pan XD, et al. (2012) Changes in the near-surface soil freeze-thaw cycle on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 17: 33–42.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2011.12.002 Google Scholar
  27. Li Z, Xing YC (2006) Effects of dry density and percent fines on shearing strength of sandy cobble and broken stone. Rock and Soil Mechanics 27(12): 2255–2260. (In Chinese)  https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1000-7598.2006.12.032 Google Scholar
  28. Liu EL, Liu MX, Chen SS, et al. (2015) Micromechanical modeling of grain breakage based on thermomechanics and micropolar theory. Chinese Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 37(2): 276–283. (In Chinese)  https://doi.org/10.11779/CJGE201502010 Google Scholar
  29. Liu JK, Chang D, Yu QM (2016) Influence of freeze-thaw cycles on mechanical properties of a silty sand. Engineering Geology 210: 23–32.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2016.05.019 Google Scholar
  30. Lu Y, Liu SH, Alonso E, et al. (2019) Volume changes and mechanical degradation of a compacted expansive soil under freeze-thaw cycles. Cold Regions Science and Technology 157: 206–214.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2018.10.008 Google Scholar
  31. Ma W, Wu ZW, Chang XX (2000) Effects of consolidation process on stress-strain characters of tjaeles. Rock and Soil Mechanics 21(3): 198–200. (In Chinese)  https://doi.org/10.16285/j.rsm.2000.03.002 Google Scholar
  32. Ma W, Wu ZW, Zhang LX, et al. (1999) Analyses of process on the strength decrease in frozen soils under high confining pressures. Cold Regions Science and Technology 29(1): 1–7.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0165-232X(98)00020-2 Google Scholar
  33. Ma W, Cheng G, Wu Q (2009) Construction on permafrost foundations: Lessons learned from the Qinghai-Tibet railroad. Cold Regions Science and Technology 59(1): 3–11.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2009.07.007 Google Scholar
  34. McRoberts EC, Morgenstern NR (1974) The stability of thawing slopes. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 11: 447–469.  https://doi.org/10.1139/t74-052 Google Scholar
  35. Ministry of Construction of the People’s Republic of China (MCPRC) (2008) Standard for soil test method, GB/T 50123-1999. China Planning Press, Beijing, China. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  36. Ministry of Water Resources of the People’s Republic of China (MWRPRC) (1999) Specification of Soil Test, SL237-1999. China Water & Power Press, Beijing, China. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  37. Nakaoka T, Mochizuki A, Sakaguchi O (1994) Evaluation of density from compaction tests on coarse grained soils. Doboku Gakkai Ronbunshu 499: 177–185.  https://doi.org/10.2208/jscej.1994.499_177 Google Scholar
  38. Niu FJ, Cheng GD, Lai YM, et al. (2004) Instability study on thaw slumping in permafrost regions of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Chinese Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 26(3): 402–406. (In Chinese)  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02911033 Google Scholar
  39. Niu FJ, Cheng GD, Ni WK, et al. (2005) Engineering-related slope failure in permafrost regions of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Cold Regions Science and Technology 42(3): 215–225.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2005.02.002 Google Scholar
  40. Nurmikolu A (2005) Degradation and frost susceptibility of crushed rock aggregates used in structural layers of railway track. Doctoral thesis. Tampere University of Technology. pp 34–44.Google Scholar
  41. Othman MA, Benson CH (1993) Effect of freeze-thaw on the hydraulic conductivity and morphology of compacted clay. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 30(2): 236–246.  https://doi.org/10.1139/t93-020 Google Scholar
  42. Özgan E, Serin S, Ertürk S, et al. (2015) Effects of Freezing and Thawing Cycles on the Engineering Properties of Soils. Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering 52(2): 95–99.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11204-015-9312-1 Google Scholar
  43. Patakiewicz MA, Zabielska-Adamska K (2017) Crushing of non-cohesive soil grains under dynamic loading. Procedia Engineering 189: 80–85.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2017.05.014 Google Scholar
  44. Qi JL, Vermeer PA, Cheng GD (2006) A review of the influence of freeze-thaw cycles on soil geotechnical properties. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 17: 245–252.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ppp.559 Google Scholar
  45. Qi JL, Ma W, Song CX (2008) Influence of freeze-thaw on engineering properties of a silty soil. Cold Regions Science and Technology 53: 397–404.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2007.05.010 Google Scholar
  46. Rahardjo H, Indrawan IGB, Leong EC, et al. (2008) Effects of coarse-grained material on hydraulic properties and shear strength of top soil. Engineering Geology 101(3): 165–173.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2008.05.001 Google Scholar
  47. Simonsen E, Janoo VC, Isacsson U (2002) Resilient properties of unbound road materials during seasonal frost conditions. Journal of Cold Regions Engineering 16(1): 28–50.  https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0887-381X(2002)16:1(28) Google Scholar
  48. Skempton AW (1985) Residual strength of clays in landslides, folded strata and the laboratory. Géotechnique 35(1): 3–18.  https://doi.org/10.1680/geot.1985.35.1.3 Google Scholar
  49. Sterpi D (2015) Effect of freeze-thaw cycles on the hydraulic conductivity of a compacted clayey silt and influence of the compaction energy. Soils and Foundations 55(5): 1326–1332.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sandf.2015.09.030 Google Scholar
  50. Swan C, Greene C (1998) Freeze-thaw effects on Boston blue clay. Journal of Engineering and Applied Science, Soil Improvement for Big Digs ASCE 81: 161–176.Google Scholar
  51. Tan YZ, Wu P, Fu W, et al. (2013) Strength and micromechanism of improved silt under freeze-thaw cycle effect. Rock and Soil Mechanics 34(10): 2827–2834 (In Chinese).  https://doi.org/10.16285/j.rsm.2013.10.011 Google Scholar
  52. Tang YQ, Zhou J, Hong J, et al. (2012) Quantitative analysis of the microstructure of Shanghai muddy clay before and after freezing. Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment 71: 309–316.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10064-011-0380-9 Google Scholar
  53. Tsytovich NA, Kronik YA (1979) Interrelationship of the principal physicomechanical and thermophysical properties of coarse-grained frozen soils. Engineering Geology 13: 163–167.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0013-7952(79)90029-2 Google Scholar
  54. Viklander P (1998) Permeability and volume changes in till due to cyclic freeze/thaw. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 35: 471–477.  https://doi.org/10.1139/cgj-35-3-471 Google Scholar
  55. Wang DY, Ma W, Niu YH, et al. (2007) Effects of cyclic freezing and thawing on mechanical properties of Qinghai-Tibet clay. Cold Regions Science and Technology 48(1): 34–43.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2006.09.008 Google Scholar
  56. Wang QZ, Liu JK, Zhu XX, et al. (2016) The experiment study of frost heave characteristics and gray correlation analysis of graded crushed rock. Cold Regions Science and Technology 126: 44–50.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2016.03.003 Google Scholar
  57. Wang TL, Liu JK, Tian YH (2011) Static properties of cement- and lime-modified soil subjected to freeze-thaw cycles. Rock and Soil Mechanics 32(1): 193–198. (In Chinese)  https://doi.org/10.1631/jzus.A1000209 Google Scholar
  58. Wang TL, Yue ZR, Ma C, et al. (2014) An experimental study on the frost heave properties of coarse grained soils. Transportation Geotechnics 1: 137–144.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trgeo.2014.06.007 Google Scholar
  59. Xie SB, Qu JJ, Lai YM, et al. (2015) Effects of Freeze-thaw Cycles on Soil Mechanical and Physical Properties in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Journal of Mountain Science 12(4): 999–1099.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-014-3384-7 Google Scholar
  60. Xu J, Niu FJ, Niu YH, et al. (2011) Analysis on the effect of replacing-soil method on inhibiting frost heave of railway roadbed in seasonal frozen soil region. China Railway Science 32(5): 1–7. (In Chinese)  https://doi.org/10.1080/0144929X.2011.553739 Google Scholar
  61. Yong RN, Boonsinsuk P, Yin CWP (1985) Alternation of soil behavior after cyclic freezing and thawing. In: Proceedings of 4th International Symposium on Ground Freezing. A.A. Balkema Publishers, Rotterdam, Netherlands 187–195.Google Scholar
  62. Zaimoglu AS (2010) Freezing-thawing behavior of fine-grained soils reinforced with polypropylene fibers. Cold Regions Science and Technology 60(1): 63–65.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2009.07.001 Google Scholar
  63. Zhang D, Liu EL, Liu XY, et al. (2017) A new strength criterion for frozen soils considering the influence of temperature and coarsegrained contents. Cold Regions Science and Technology 143: 1–12.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2017.08.006 Google Scholar
  64. Zhang F, Jing RX, Feng DC, et al. (2015) Mechanical properties and an empirical model of compacted silty clay subjected to freeze-thaw cycles. In: Innovative Materials and Design for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure. Reston: American Society of Civil Engineers pp 200–212.  https://doi.org/10.1061/9780784479278.019 Google Scholar
  65. Zheng Y, Ma W, Bing H (2015) Impact of freezing and thawing cycles on structure of soils and its mechanism analysis by laboratory testing. Rock and Soil Mechanics 36(5): 1282–1287. (In Chinese)  https://doi.org/10.16285/j.rsm.2015.05.006 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Geology Engineering and GeomaticsChang’ an UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.China Gold Group Tibet Tyrone Mining Development Co., Ltd.TibetChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and ResourcesChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  4. 4.South China Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, School of Civil Engineering and TransportationSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations