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Sampling Frozen Soils

John Huang, Ph.D., PE and John Poullain, PE

This three hour online course discusses drilling equipment and procedures used for soil sampling in frozen soils, and methods for recovering the soil samples. Visual examination and other measures used during drilling and sample recovery are considered. The types of equipment and drilling methods covered in the course include solid-stem, hollow-stem augers, bucket augers, and Rand auger boring. Guidelines for a variety of samplers including split barrel, thin wall tubes, block, pitcher and continuous soil auger are discussed as well as the handling, selection and storage of specimen samples. Basic soil types and how drilling and sampling in frozen states differ from unfrozen conditions and are considered in the selection of appropriate drilling and sampling methods. Also covered is artificial ground freezing methods used for dealing with groundwater problems.

Artificial ground freezing has been used for several decades for in drilling and sampling difficult soil formations. It has been used more extensively for groundwater control and excavation in underground construction projects since it is very effective in controlling the groundwater and to provide soil support for shaft construction in water-bearing formations. By artificially freezing the pore water of soils a stronger more stable material is created and ground water problems are solved.

Artificial ground freezing has more recently been used for environmental remediation projects by creating subsurface barriers. Frozen earth barriers prevent contaminated groundwater from migrating while remediation is being performed. Installation of the barriers may be for temporary use or for long term use.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.