Ground Freezing and Climate Change

GeoStudio provides comprehensive tools for analyzing ground freezing and climate change.

The analytical challenge

The thermal response of the ground can be a major concern for many engineering and earth science problems.  Some typical problems include the degradation of permafrost due to construction or climate change, artificial ground freezing during construction activities, and the effect of convective heat transfer on earth embankments or soil cover performance.  Many of these problems involve interaction with the hydrogeological system and climate.

The GeoStudio solution

GeoStudio can consider heat transfer with phase change due to conduction and convection with moving water and/or moving air. Boundary condition options enable steady state or transient analyses. A “convective surface” boundary condition is implemented for artificial ground freezing where a flowing fluid in a closed piping system removes heat from the ground. The land-climate interaction boundary condition can be used to model the effect of net radiation, air temperature, wind speed and snow depth on the ground temperature response. Add-In constitutive models can be developed in SIGMA/W and SLOPE/W to use results from a TEMP/W analysis to assess deformations or changes in stability based on temperature-dependent ground strengths.


Example analyses

Explore these GeoStudio analyses of ground freezing and climate change.

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Freezing Analysis of a Buried Pipeline

TEMP/W is used to model the freezing front propagation around a pipeline. The examples demonstrates the use of circular regions and the application of the appropriate boundary conditions and material properties.

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Mineshaft Freezing

Artificial ground freezing is used in many engineering projects to excavate and construct mine shafts, tunnels or other underground structures through water bearing, often unstable, ground formations. This example demonstrates a procedure for modeling the freeze wall growth for a mine shaft project.

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Effect of Slope Aspect on Thermal Response

The surface energy balance boundary condition in TEMP/W is used to simulate the thermal response of two capillary barrier soil covers overlying municipal waste. Both covers are comprised of the same materials; however, one cover faces north while the other south. The simulated responses are compared to field measurements to explore the effect of slope direction on the thermal response within the cover systems.

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The objective of this TEMP/W example is to conduct a transient analysis of thermosyphons installed near Fairbanks, Alaska. The model is assumed to have permafrost year round at the base. A heated building rests on the ground surface.

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Related Products

GeoStudio includes four integrated products that work in combination to provide effective analysis of ground freezing and climate change.



Finite element analysis of groundwater flow in saturated / unsaturated porous media.

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Finite element stress and deformation analysis of earth and structural materials.

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Finite element analysis of heat transfer and phase change in porous media.

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Explore all solutions

GeoStudio's integrated products enable you to work across a broad range of engineering use cases.