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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 198986, 9 pages
Research Article

Experimental and Theoretical Investigations on Frost Heave in Porous Media

State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China

Received 28 August 2014; Accepted 24 December 2014

Academic Editor: Gongnan Xie

Copyright © 2015 Feng Ming and Dong-qing Li. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


For the construction in cold regions, frost heave and thaw settlement are the two factors which must be taken care of. Considered that a saturated soil column was subjected to an overburden pressure to model the ice lens growing process. A typical process, which coupled water, heat, and stress that happened in a saturated freezing soil column, was simulated by the finite element software. We did the numerical simulation under the same conditions as the experiment tests and then compared the results from temperature, frost heave, frozen structure, water content, and water intake. Result shows that the simulation results match well with the experimental results, and the correctness of the mathematical model is validated. On that basis, frost heave amount under different conditions by changing the temperature boundary and loading boundary is obtained. The frost heave has an optimum temperature gradient. Under the optimum value, the frost heave amount increases with increasing temperature gradient. Above the optimum value, frost heave decreases with increasing temperature gradient. Increasing the overburden pressure, frost heave amount always decreases. These results can provide references for the constrictions in cold regions.