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Ground Freezing

Dr. Sauer Group
October 13, 2004
Herndon, VA, USA

Ground Freezing is a special support technique that can be used for ground water control and excavation support.

The basic principle of ground freezing is to circulate a cold medium through a suitable pipe system, which cools the strata and thus converts the in-situ pore water to ice. The ice is so formed bonds adjacent soil particles together and forms an impermeable structure with increased strength characteristics.

Main Advantages of Ground Freezing:

  • Soil strength and temporary stand up time is increased many times
  • Impermeability
  • Freezing does not pullute the ground water

Limits of this Technique:

permeable, non-cohesive soil conditions with a high groundwater flow

The first application of Ground Freezing in combination with NATM / SEM in the US, designed by DSC, has been accomplished in Boston, MA by tunneling beneath the historic Russia Wharf Complex.