Improved Permafrost Protection Using Air Convection and Ventilated Shoulder Cooling Systems

The research will focus on two specific objectives: (1) The data available from the Thompson Drive experimental installation will be analyzed in order to accurately characterize the cooling effectiveness of the air convection embankments (ACE), ventilated shoulder, and hairpin thermo syphon cooling features. Given the fourteen year temperature history available, analysis of this data set will allow the research team to accurately understand the long-term effectiveness of the installed cooling measures. The results will be summarized in visual and tabular formats so that the details of the thermal patterns generated within the roadway embankment and foundation soils can be easily understood and, potentially, applied to new construction projects that are considering application of this technology. (2) Using the data analysis from objective in combination with other data that may be available from other field test sites, a series of alternate ACE and ventilated shoulder design options will be investigated. This effort will be aimed at establishing new configurations that are capable of thermally protecting embankments while at the same time minimizing restrictions on materials size and gradation and reducing required layer thicknesses and volumes.