Semi-analytical predictive model for natural and artificial thawing of circular ground-Ice walls

Petr Nikolaev, Andrey Jivkov, Hamid Rajabi, Huaxiang Yan, Majid Sedighi

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Artificial ground freezing (AGF) is a ground improvement technique enabling the construction of underground structures in challenging geological conditions. After constructing an underground structure within the ground- ice cofferdam, the soil undergoes a thawing process that can impact the structure stability and waterproofing properties of the lining. Minimizing or preventing potential damage, as well as avoiding delays in construction, can be achieved through a rational design of thawing regimes. In this paper, we present a semi-analytical model for the thermal behaviour of ice-wall during its natural or artificial thawing. The process is described by three independent one-dimensional mathematical problems: the thawing of the outer surface of the ice wall, the thawing of its inner surface, and the thawing of soils around the freeze pipes (in the case of artificial thawing). The proposed approach facilitates the calculation of natural and artificial thawing times and the power required for artificial thawing. The efficiency of the model is demonstrated by comparison with numerical simulation results. This makes the approach suitable and desirable for engineering practice. Importantly, the model allows for seamless analysis of several combinations of influencing factors to select thawing parameters aligned with the requirements of different construction projects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106394
Number of pages26
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Apr 2024


  • heat conduction
  • artificial ground freezing
  • phase change
  • Stephan problem
  • thawing
  • underground construction

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