Permafrost Environmental Consulting (PEC)

CLIMATE CHANGE OF PERMAFROST-AFFECTED TERRAIN

Climate change presents a challenge to many areas of the globe, but none more so than the Arctic. Long-term temperature records from within the near surface permafrost zone of the northern hemisphere reveal that a warming trend of this layer has accelerated over the last 30 years. The observed recent climate warming of frozen soils and sediments presents significant challenges to the engineering of infrastructure in permafrost and to predicting the rates of mobility of contaminates in permafrost-affected terrain. Increases in permafrost temperatures result in changes to mechanical, hydraulic and thermal properties of soils and sediments, which in turn can impact negatively on pipelines, roads and utilities constructed in or on permafrost.

Notable Studies

  • . Mackenzie Highway Project
  • . Ground Thermal and Micro-Climatic Studies in Continuous, Discontinuous and Sporadic Permafrost
  • . Performance of Pipelines in Permafrost
  • . Mobility of Miscible and Immiscible Contaminates

Recent Reports And Publications

White, T.L., 2008. “Modification of Soil Microstructure in Hydrocarbon Contaminated Freezing Soils and Permafrost” in Proceedings of Sixth Contaminants in Freezing Conference. Fairlee Vermont, June 2008.

White T.L. 2008 "Engineering for Extreme Environments" published in Pipeline and Gas Technology, January/February issue, Hart Energy Publishing, LP Houston Texas USA.

White, T.L. and P.J. Williams, 2004. Review of Conceptual Geotechnical and Geothermal Design Basis of the Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline. Report prepared for Imperial Oil Resources, Mackenzie Gas Project.

White, T.L. and P.J. Williams, 2003 (Keynote). Arctic Gas Pipelines in Permafrost-The Challenges. Conference Proceedings (on CD): Control for Enhanced Reliability and Safety. NACE International. The Corrosion Society.

Williams, P.J., W.G. Rees, D.W. Riseborough, and T.L. White, 2000. "Strategies for Development of Cost-Effective Amelioration Procedures for Oil Spills on Cold Regions." Chapter 4, Contaminant Hydrology: Cold Regions Modelling, Ann Arbor Press Inc., Chelsea, Michigan.

White, T.L. and Coutard, J-P., 1999. "Modification of silt microstructure by hydrocarbon contamination in freezing ground." Contaminants in Freezing Ground. Proceedings of Conference held in Cambridge, 1997. Also published in The Polar Record, Vol. 35, Number 192, January 1999, Cambridge University Press, pp. 41-51.

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