Research themes and projects

1. Improvement of current knowledge on permafrost degradation and its effect on transportation infrastructures

The focus of this research theme will be on understanding and documenting the main factors involved in the degradation of embankments built on thaw sensitive permafrost.   A 2D thermal model will be developed and calibrated. This model will serve to elaborate engineering parameters (physical indices) allowing to account for those degradation factors in design and management of transportation infrastructure.

Studied aspects

2. Identification and characterization of thaw sensitive soils

Ice-rich permafrost at shallow depths is the most challenging terrain condition to manage for construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure, because of its spatial distribution being very difficult to predict. Thus, the objective  of this theme is to improve the capability to identify and characterize ice-rich soils, which is not only necessary for the implementation of new infrastructures, but also for effective maintenance of the existing ones.


3. Development of stabilization and maintenance techniques for existing and future transportation infrastructures built on unstable permafrost

Many methods have been proposed and tested to counter the effects of permafrost degradation on transportation infrastructure embankments. These methods can be classified into three categories, based on the limitation of heat intake (summer), the maximization of heat extraction (winter), and the reinforcement of embankments. The main objective of this theme is to optimize preservation strategies by assessing their application field, their performance and by documenting associated costs and implementation barriers.


Programme de recherche ARQULUK - Université Laval
Département de génie civil - Pavillon Adrien-Pouliot - 1065, av. de la Médecine, Québec, Québec, G1V 0A6 - Canada
Téléphone: 1.418.656.2131 # 7138 - Fax: 1.418.656.2928 -
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