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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 4, p. 512-518
    Received: Dec 8, 1968

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Water Movement and Freezing Pressures1

  1. Pieter Hoekstra2



Pressures develop when cylindrical columns of saturated soils are frozen unidirectionally under conditions of constant volume with an open water supply at the warm side. The value and behavior of these pressures depend on soil type.

If water migration can take place in the frozen soil and ice lenses grow behind the freezing front the value of the pressure depends on the temperature at the ice lens. This process occurs in clayey soils, and the pressure is theoretically limited by the phase transition ice 1 — water. Values of 100 atm have been measured experimentally.

In soils where water migration in the frozen soil does not occur and ice lenses form at the freezing front, the pressure reaches a constant value, which may vary between 0.2 atm for a sand soil and 3 atm for a silt soil.

Thermodynamic models proposed to explain these phenomena are discussed.

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