Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2021, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (2): 77-86.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2021.20046

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Artificially frozen ground and related engineering technology in Japan

Satoshi Akagawa()   

  1. Cryosphere Engineering Laboratory, Tokyo, Japan
  • Received:2020-06-08 Accepted:2021-01-19 Online:2021-04-30 Published:2021-05-11
  • Contact: Satoshi Akagawa


Since the 1970's, frozen ground has been developing near the Tokyo Bay area around liquefied natural gas (LNG) in-ground storage tanks. For disaster prevention purposes, the tanks are constructed below the ground surface. Since the temperature of the liquid stored in the tanks is -162 °C the soil surrounding the tanks freezes. Since this frozen ground has existed for almost half a century, we have permafrost near Tokyo. The development of artificial frozen ground may cause frost heaving, resulting in frost heave forces that may cause structural damage of adjacent LNG in-ground storage tanks. Therefore, the demand for frozen ground engineering increased and consequently we now have advanced technology in this area. Fortunately, we use this engineering technology and artificial ground freezing for civil engineering, especially in big and crowded cities like Tokyo. This paper provides a summary of the testing apparatus, test methods, and assessment methods for frost heaving.

Key words: artificial ground freezing, frost heave, frozen ground engineering

Figure 1

LNG In-ground Storage Tanks used near the Tokyo Bay area"

Figure 2

Thermal regime and stress-strain field during frost heave test"

Figure 3

Shape of the monocrystals of ice lenses observed with orthogonally-polarized light"

Figure 4

Schematic drawing of frost heave test apparatus shown in JGS 0171"

Figure 5

Typical freezing side temperature (Tc) history during thermal shock"

Figure 6

Improved frost heave test apparatus"

Figure 7

Frost heave test cell for monitoring lateral heave pressure"

Figure 8

Lateral expansion pressure change with temperature"

Figure 9

Engineering treatment of frost heaving by Takashi et al. (1978)"

Figure 10

Trans-Tokyo Bay Expressway ("

Figure 11

Measures introduced at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station and artificially frozen ground wall (;"

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