Simulating and validating the effects of slope frost heaving on canal bed saturated soil using coupled heat-moisture-deformation model

Wang Enliang, Fu Qiang, Liu Xingchao, Li Tianxiao, Li Jinling


The lining canals in seasonal frozen soil areas can be severely damaged by frost heaving. The freezing and thawing contributes to the continual change of the temperature field and moisture field beneath lining canal, which will seriously affect the safe operation of the canal. In order to study the frost heaving damage mechanism of lining canal and to solve the associated engineering problems, the permafrost body was regarded as an elastomer, and a three-field, coupled, partial differential equation describing the temperature, moisture and deformation fields for a saturated two-dimensional canal bed was derived and established based on the Harlan model. The coupling equations were discretized using the finite element method in space and the finite difference method in time. The parameters were simplified appropriately based on compliance with the actual conditions and were simulated using finite element software. The results of a sample simulation showed that the simulated results and test results were basically consistent with variation laws, which proved the correctness of the numerical simulation theory and solution methods and the reliability of the calculation. The model can simulate the water, heat and deformation issues in the side slope of saturated canal bed soil in a seasonally frozen area and forecast freezing damage in the canals.
Keywords: seasonally frozen area, canal, soil of the side slope, coupling of water, heat and deformation, model
DOI: 10.3965/j.ijabe.20171002.2551

Citation: Wang E L, Fu Q, Liu X C, Li T X, Li J L. Simulating and validating the effects of slope frost heaving on canal bed saturated soil using coupled heat-moisture-deformation model. Int J Agric & Biol Eng, 2017; 10(2): 184–193.


seasonally frozen area, canal, soil of the side slope, coupling of water, heat and deformation, model


Jay S, Jack H. Canal-Lining demonstration project year 10 final report. Department of the Interior, USA, 2002.

Herve P. Application of Geosynthetics in Irrigation and Drainage Projects. International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, New Delhi, India, 2004.

Jiang H, Zheng Y. Mechanics models of frost heaving damage on composite lining trapezoidal canal with arc-bottom. International Journal of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, 2013; 41(11): 139–150.

Shen X D, Zhang Y P, Wang L P. Stress analysis of frost heave for precast concrete panel lining trapezoidal cross-section channel. Transactions of the CSAE, 2012; 28(16): 80–85. (in Chinese)

Li A G, Li H, Cheng Q H. Study on the prediction of frost heave in the bedsoil of canals. Water Resources & Water Engineering, 1993; 4(3): 17–23. (in Chinese)

Li S Y, Lai Y M, Pei W S, Zhang S J, Zhong H. Moisture-temperature changes and freeze-thaw hazards on a canal in seasonally frozen regions. Natural Hazards, 2014; 72(2): 287–308.

Wang Z Z, Li J L, Chen T, Guo L X, Yao R F. Mechanics models of frost-heaving damage of concrete lining trapezoidal canal with arc-bottom. Transactions of the CSAE, 2008; 24(1): 18–23. (in Chinese)

Wang E L, Li J L. Experimental study of the influence of freeze and thaw cycle on shear strength of concrete slope protection. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 2012; 34(5): 1173–1178. (in Chinese)

Li Z, Liu S H, Feng Y T, Liu K, Zhang C C. Numerical study on the effect of frost heave prevention with different canal lining structures in seasonally frozen ground regions. Cold Regions Science & Technology, 2013; 85(1): 242–249.

Liao Y, Liu J J, Chen S F. Research progress of damage mechanism of frost heave and anti-frost technique of concrete canal. Rock and Soil Mechanics, 2008; 29(S1): 211–214. (in Chinese)

Zhu Z W, Ning J G, Ma W. Constitutive model and numerical analysis for the coupled problem of water, temperature and stress fields in the process of soil freeze-thaw. Engineering Mechanics, 2007; 24(5): 138–144, 137. (in Chinese)

Harlan R L. Analysis of coupled heat-fluid transport in partially frozen soil. Water Resource Research, 1973; 9(5): 1314–1323.

Taylor G S, Luthin J N. A model for coupled heat and moisture transfer during soil freezing. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 1978; 15(4): 548–555.

Shen M, Ladanyi B. Modelling of coupled heat, moisture and stress field in freezing soil. Cold Regions Science & Technology, 1987; 14(3): 237–246.

An W D. Interaction among temperature moisture and stress fields in frozen soil. Lanzhou: Lanzhou University Press, 1989.

Lai Y M, Wu Z W, Zhu Y L, Zhu L N. Nonlinear analysis for the coupled problem of temperature and seepage fields in cold regions tunnels. Cold Regions Science & Technology, 1999; 42(S1): 23–29.

Masters I, Pao W K S, Lewis R W. Coupling temperature to a double‐porosity model of deformable porous media. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, 2000; 49(3): 421–438.

Li N, Chen B, Chen F X, Xu X Z. The coupled heat-moisture-mechanic model of the frozen soil. Cold Regions Science & Technology, 2000; 31(3): 199–205.

Gens A, Nishimura S, Jardine R J. THM-coupled finite element analysis of frozen soil: formulation and application. Geotechnique, 2009; 59(3): 159–171.

Li H S, Liu Z L, Liang C J. Mathematical model for coupled moisture heat and stress field and numerical simulation of frozen soil. Acta Mechanica Sinica, 2001; 33(5): 621–629. (in Chinese)

Lai Y M, Pei W S, Zhang M Y, Zhou J Z. Study on theory model of hydro-thermal-mechanical interaction process in saturated freezing silty soil. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 2014; 78(5): 805–819.

He M, Li N, Liu N F. Analysis and validation of coupled heat-moisture-deformation model for saturated frozen soils. Chinese Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 2012; 34(10): 1858–1865. (in Chinese)

Wang W, Adamidis P, Hess M, Kemmler D, Kolditz O. Parallel finite element analysis of THM coupled processes in unsaturated porous media. Theoretical and Numerical Unsaturated Soil Mechanics, 2006; 113: 165–175.

Water Resources Ministry of China. Design code for anti-frost-heave of canal and its structure (SL23-2006). Beijing: China Water Resources and Hydropower Publishing House, 2006. (in Chinese)

Ozisik M N. Heat conduction. Beijing: Higher Education Press, 1983. (in Chinese)

Xu X Z, Wang J C, Zhang L X. Physics of frozen ground. Beijing: Science Press, 2001. (in Chinese)

Wang Z Z, Liu X D, Chen L J, Li J L. Computer simulation of frost heave for concrete lining canal with different longitudinal Joints. Transaction of the CSAE, 2009, 25(11): 1–7. (in Chinese)

Full Text: PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.