Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2017, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (4): 378-383.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2017.00378

• ARTICLES • Previous Articles    

Deformation monitoring and analysis at two frost mounds during freeze–thaw cycles along the Qinghai–Tibet Engineering Corridor

LiHui Luo1,2, Wei Ma2, YanLi Zhuang1, ZhongQiong Zhang2   

  1. 1. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China;
    2. State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soils Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
  • Received:2017-05-12 Revised:2017-06-12 Published:2018-11-23
  • Contact: LiHui Luo, 320 Donggang West Road, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China. Tel: +86-931-4967592; E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41301508, 41630636).

Abstract: This paper presents various deformation-monitoring technologies employed to monitor the frost heave and thaw settlement of two mounds along the Qinghai–Tibet Engineering Corridor (QTEC), China. The QTEC is known as a critical infrastructure and passage connecting inland China and the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP). Three technologies—global navigation satellite system (GNSS), terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)—were used to estimate the freeze/thaw–induced 3D surface deformation of two frost mounds. Our results showed that (1) the two frost mounds exhibited mainly thaw settlement in thawing periods and frost heave in the freezing period, but frost heave dominated after repeated freeze–thaw cycles; (2) different zones of the mounds showed different deformation characteristics; (3) active-layer thickness (ALT) and elevation changes were highly correlated during thaw periods; (4) integrated 3D-measurement technologies can achieve a better understanding and assessment of hazards in the permafrost area.

Key words: frost mound, thaw settlement, frost heave, freeze–thaw cycles, surface deformation

Al-Rawabdeh A, He FN, Moussa A, et al., 2016. Using an unmanned aerial vehicle-based digital imaging system to derive a 3D point cloud for landslide scarp recognition. Remote Sensing, 8(2): 95. DOI: 10.3390/rs8020095.
Gruber S, Hoelzle M, Haeberli W, 2004. Permafrost thaw and destabilization of Alpine rock walls in the hot summer of 2003. Geophysical Research Letters, 31(311): 405–407. DOI: 10.1029/2004GL020051.
Luo LH, Zhang YN, Zhu WP, 2012. E-science application of wireless sensor networks in eco-hydrological monitoring in the Heihe River basin, China. IET Science, Measurement & Technology, 6(6): 432–439. DOI: 10.1049/iet-smt.2011.0211.
Luo LH, Ma W, Zhang ZQ, et al., 2017. Freeze/thaw-induced deformation monitoring and assessment of the slope in permafrost based on terrestrial laser scanner and GNSS. Remote Sensing, 9(3): 198. DOI: 10.3390/rs9030198.
Luo LH, Zhang YN, Ma W, et al., 2017. System for Land Surface Model Applications Based on Cloud Computing. IEEE Access, 5(1): 12041-12048. DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2017.2718002.
Ma W, Wen Z, Sheng Y, et al., 2012. Remedying embankment thaw settlement in a warm permafrost region with thermosyphons and crushed rock revetment. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 49(9): 1005–1014. DOI: 10.1139/t2012-058.
Niu FJ, Luo J, Lin ZJ, et al., 2012. Development and thermal regime of a thaw slump in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. Cold Regions Science and Technology, 83–84: 131–138. DOI: 10.1016/j.coldregions.2012.07.007.
Niu FJ, Luo J, Lin ZJ, et al., 2014. Thaw-induced slope failures and susceptibility mapping in permafrost regions of the Qinghai-Tibet Engineering Corridor, China. Natural Hazards, 74(3): 1667–1682. DOI: 10.1007/s11069-014-1267-4.
Niu FJ, Luo J, Lin ZJ, et al., 2016. Thaw-induced slope failures and stability analyses in permafrost regions of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. Landslides, 13(1): 55–65. DOI: 10.1007/s10346-014-0545-2.
Nixon JF, Morgenstern NR, Reesor SN, 1983. Frost heave-pipeline interaction using continuum mechanics. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 20(2): 251–261. DOI: 10.1139/t83-029.
Palmer AC, Williams PJ, 2003. Frost heave and pipeline upheaval buckling. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 40(5): 1033–1038. DOI: 10.1139/t03-044.
Palmer AC, Williams PJ, 2005. Reply to the discussions by Nixon and Vebo and Oswell et al. on "Frost heave and pipeline upheaval buckling". Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 42(1): 325–326. DOI: 10.1139/t04-031.
Pissart A, 2002. Palsas, lithalsas and remnants of these periglacial mounds. A progress report. Progress in Physical Geography, 26(4): 605–621. DOI: 10.1191/0309133302pp354ra.
Rempel AW, 2007. Formation of ice lenses and frost heave. Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface, 112(F2). DOI: 10.1029/2006JF000525.
Setkowicz JA, 2014. Evaluation of Algorithms and Tools for 3D Modeling of Laser Scanning Data. Norwegian: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, pp. 154.
Wang B, French HM, 1995. In situ creep of frozen soil, Fenghuo Shan, Tibet Plateau, China. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 32(3): 545–552. DOI: 10.1139/t95-056.
Weiss M, Baret F, 2017. Using 3D point clouds derived from UAV RGB imagery to describe vineyard 3D macro-structure. Remote Sensing, 9(2): 111. DOI: 10.3390/rs9020111.
Yang XY, Strahler AH, Schaaf CB, et al., 2013. Three-dimensional forest reconstruction and structural parameter retrievals using a terrestrial full-waveform lidar instrument (Echidn). Remote Sensing of Environment, 135: 36–51. DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2013.03.020.
[1] Yan Lu, Xin Yi, WenBing Yu, WeiBo Liu. Numerical analysis on the thermal regimes of thermosyphon embankment in snowy permafrost area [J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2017, 9(6): 580-586.
[2] Lin Geng, XianZhang Ling, Liang Tang, Jun Luo, XiuLi Du. A mathematical approach to evaluate maximum frost heave of unsaturated silty clay [J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2017, 9(5): 438-446.
Full text



No Suggested Reading articles found!