Cut Slope Icing Formation Mechanism and Its Influence on Slope Stability in Periglacial Area Open image in new window

  • Ying Guo
  • Wei ShanEmail author
  • Zhaoguang Hu
  • Hua Jiang
Conference paper


Understanding the formation and distinctive conditions that contribute to icing in cut slopes are needed to mitigate it for highway engineering. Using the K162 cut slope of the Bei’an-Heihe Expressway as a study site, we conducted field surveys, geological exploration, field monitoring, laboratory tests and numerical simulations to carry out an integrated study on the icing formation mechanisms and its influence on the slope stability. Research results show that: the surface unconsolidated Quaternary sediment and Tertiary sandstone provide passage for atmospheric precipitation infiltration; but underlying mudstone forms an aquiclude. Phreatic water forms in the loose overburden after infiltration. As the freezing front thickens, the phreatic aquifer thins and becomes pressurized. Slope cutting has exposed the phreatic aquifer. When the excess pore water pressure exceeds the strength of surface material, the pressurized water flows out of the slope, and freezes, forms icing. In the spring melt period, surface icing and shallow seasonal frozen soil melt completely, water infiltrates into the slope; but meltwater is blocked by the unfrozen soil in infiltrating process, accumulates on the interface between melted and frozen layers, increasing the water content at the mudstone interface. The mudstone reaches a saturated state, and its shear strength decreases, and forms a potential rupture surface.


Landslide Icing Permafrost Cutting slope Stability 



We thank the science and technology research project of Heilongjiang Provincial Education Department (12533017) and Heilongjiang Postdoctoral Fund (LBH-Z14024) for funding support.


  1. Callegary JB, Kikuchi CP, Koch JC, Lilly MR, Leake SAm (2013) Review: groundwater in Alaska (USA). Hydrogeol J 21(1):25–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. French HM, Guglielmin M (2000) Frozen ground phenomena in the vicinity of Terra Nova Bay, Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica: a preliminary report. Geografiska Annaler. Series A. Phys Geogr 82(4):513–526Google Scholar
  3. Guo Y, Shan W, Jiang H, Sun YY, Zhang C C (2014) The impact of freeze-thaw on the stability of soil cut slope in high-latitude frozen regions. In: Shan W (ed) Landslides in cold regions in context of climate change, Springer International Publishing (ISBN 1431-6250), p 85Google Scholar
  4. Hodgkins R, Tranter M, Dowdeswell JA (2004) The characteristics and formation of a high-arctic proglacial icing Geografiska Annaler: Series A. Phys Geogr 86(3):265–275Google Scholar
  5. Huang MK (2010) Study on chain-style mechanism and chain-breaking method of road disaster in cold regions. Disaster Adv 3(4):166–169Google Scholar
  6. Hu XG, Pollard WH (1997) Ground icing formation: experimental and statistical analyses of the overflow process. Permafrost Periglac Process 8(2):217–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Iwahana G, Fukui K, Mikhailov N, Ostanin O, Fujii Y (2012) Internal structure of a lithalsa in the Akkol Valley, Russian Altai Mountains. Permafrost Periglac Process 23(2):107–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jiang H, Shan W (2012) Formation mechanism and stability analysis of Bei’an-Heihe Expressway expansion project K178 landslide. Adv Mater Res 368–373:953–958Google Scholar
  9. Kane DL (1981) Physical mechanics of aufeis growth. Can J Civ Eng 8(2):186–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Li MY (2010) Salivary flow ice formation mechanism in highway engineering. Commun Sci Technol Heilongjiang 33(10):12Google Scholar
  11. Meng FS, Liu JP, Liu YZ (2001) Design principles and frost damage characteristics of frozen soil roadbed along the Heihe-Bei’an highway. J Glaciol Geocryol 23(3):307–311Google Scholar
  12. Pollard WH (2005) Icing processes associated with high arctic perennial springs, Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut, Canada. Permafrost and Periglacial Process 16(1):51–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Saarelainen S, Vaskelainen J (1988) Problems of arctic road construction and maintenance in Finland. In: Proceedings of the 5th international conference on Permafrost, 2–5 August 1988. Norway, pp 1466–1491Google Scholar
  14. Seppälä M (1999) Geomorphological aspects of road construction in a cold environment, Finland. Geomorphol 31(4):65–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Shan W, Jiang H, Hu ZG (2012) Island permafrost degrading process and deformation characteristics of expressway widen subgrade foundation. Disaster Adv 5(4):827–832Google Scholar
  16. Streitz JT, Ettema R (2002) Observations from an aufeis windtunnel. Cold Reg Sci Technol 34(2):85–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sun QH, Xu HW, Zhang YQ, Wang JM (2008) Application of high density resistivity method in highway road landslide prediction. J Guizhou University of Technol 37(6):101–105Google Scholar
  18. Vinson TS, Lofgren D (2003) Denali Park access road icing problems and mitigation options. In: Proceedings of the 8th international conference on Permafrost, 21–25 July 2003. Zürich, Switzerland, pp 1189–1194Google Scholar
  19. Wang Y, Liu XP (2006) Formation characteristics, condition and classification of highway salivary flow ice. Commun Sci Technol Heilongjiang 29(6):47–48Google Scholar
  20. Worsley P, Gurney SD (1996) Geomorphology and hydrogeological significance of the Holocene pingos in the Karup Valley area, Trail1 Island, northern east Greenland. J Quat Sci 11(3):249–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wu H, Wang L, Zhao K (2003) Formation and control of highway salivary flow ice in cold mountain region. Commun Sci Technol Heilongjiang 26(4):32–35Google Scholar
  22. Wu QB, Zhu YL, Shi B (2001) Study of frozen soil environment relating to engineering activities. J Glaciol Geocryol 23(2):200–207Google Scholar
  23. Wu ZJ, Zhang LX, Ma W (2007) Influence of soil’s cryogenic course on deformation of roadbed in permafrost region of Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Rock and Soil Mech 28(7):1477–1483Google Scholar
  24. Yoshikawa K, Hinzman LD, Kane DL (2007) Spring and aufeis (icing) hydrology in Brooks Range, Alaska. J Geophys Res: Biogeosci (2005–2012) 112(4):1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Yu WB, Lai YM, Bai WL, Zhang XF, Sh Zhuang D, Li QH, Wang JW (2005) Icing problems on road in Da Hinggangling forest region and prevention measures. Cold Reg Sci Technol 42(1):79–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Zhang BL, Liu YY, Yang M (2000) Control measures of salivary flow ice in highway engineering. For Eng 16(4):46–47Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Cold Regions Science and EngineeringNortheast Forestry UniversityHarbinChina

Personalised recommendations