||Corwin, Arthur B., P. E. ; Maishman, Derek, P.Eng. ; Schmall, Paul C., P. E. ; Lacy, Hugh S., P. E.
|Summary / Abstract
||For reasons of hydraulic design and constructability, water supply tunnel systems are often located relatively deep, in competent rock. Where the rock lies below a thick cover of water bearing soils, artificial ground freezing offers a low risk, cost-effective method of constructing access shafts. Several examples, in Kansas City, MO and in Brooklyn and Queens, NY, illustrate the use of freezing to provide structural support and ground water exclusion. In the case histories presented, the shafts range from 6m to 12m (20 to 40 ft) in diameter and soils vary from clays to boulder beds with depths in excess of 73m (240 ft) to competent bedrock.
Where tunnels for infrastructure are designed to be driven in rock, vertical access may encounter a considerable thickness of overburden soils with groundwater. In such cases, shaft sinking problems are analogous to those confronted by mining engineers over 100 years ago. At that time, newly developed refrigeration machines were set to freeze the ground water and stabilize running sands. Although modern technology has refined our efforts, the basic features of the ground freezing to be described here are the same as those used in the last century. Vertical holes drilled on a circle surrounding the shaft site are equipped with leak-free steelpipes through which a refrigerated brine is circulated. In this manner, a frozen cylinder, seated in rock, is formed when the earth freezes between adjacent pipes. Shaft excavations take place inside a self-supporting, ground-water excluding structure. For mines, no better method of sinking production shafts through deepwater-bearing ground has yet been established. Indeed, major deposits of coal, potash, and salt would have remained inaccessible to this day were it not for the continued use of artificial ground freezing.
If mine shaft freezing became relatively commonplace, early applications to civil engineering were few. Mussche and Waddington (1946) mention only five projects between 1892 and 1935; three of these relate to subway or vehicular tunnels in Paris, Antwerp, and (the most extensive) at five locations of the Moscow Metropolitan Railway development. In the United States, the method was used to spectacular effect in 1936, freezing about 3,000 cubic yards of silt to stop a slide