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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-08-057
Date: November 2008

Long-Term Pavement Performance Computed Parameter: Frost Penetration

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FOREWORD

In-situ data availability is vital to pavement engineering. As the pavement design process moves toward mechanistic-empirical techniques, knowledge of seasonal changes in pavement structural characteristics becomes critical. Specifically, frost penetration information is necessary for determining the effect of freeze and thaw on pavement structural responses. This report describes a methodology for determining frost penetration in unbound pavement layers and subgrade soil using electrical resistivity, moisture, and temperature data collected for instrumented Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) Seasonal Monitoring Program (SMP) sites. The report also contains a summary of LTPP frost depth estimates and a detailed description of the computed parameter tables containing frost penetration information for LTPP SMP sites.

The report will be of interest to highway agency engineers as well as researchers who will use the LTPP frost penetration data to improve pavement design and analysis procedures. In addition to the information from the LTPP in service pavements, a method for monitoring frost depth presented in this report can be utilized by State highway agencies interested in monitoring freeze-thaw conditions in unbound pavement layers.

Gary L. Henderson
Director, Office of Infrastructure Research and Development

Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.
FHWA-HRT-08-057
2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
LTPP Computed Parameter: Frost Penetration
5. Report Date
November 2008
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

O.I. Selezneva, Y.J. Jiang, G. Larson, and T. Puzin
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Applied Research Associates, Inc. 7184 Troy Hill Drive, Suite N
Elkridge, Maryland 21075-7056
10. Work Unit No.
11. Contract or Grant No.

DTFH61-02-D-00138
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, Virginia 22101-2296
13. Type of Report and Period

Safety Evaluation Final Report
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR): Larry Wiser, Long Term Pavement Performance Team.
16. Abstract

As the pavement design process moves toward mechanistic-empirical techniques, knowledge of seasonal changes in pavement structural characteristics becomes critical. Specifically, frost penetration information is necessary for determining the effect of freeze and thaw on pavement structural responses. This report describes a methodology for determining frost penetration in unbound pavement layers and subgrade soil using temperature, electrical resistivity, and moisture data collected for instrumented Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) Seasonal Monitoring Program (SMP) sites. The report also contains a summary of LTPP frost depth estimates and a detailed description of the LTPP computed parameter tables containing frost penetration information for 41 LTPP SMP sites. The frost penetration analysis methodology and the accompanying E-FROST program is used in-situ soil temperature as a primary source of data to predict frost depth in unbound pavement layers. In addition to temperature data, electrical resistivity and moisture data were used as supplemental data sources for the analysis when temperatures were close to the freezing isotherm. The Enhanced Integrated Climatic Model (EICM) was used to fill intermediate gaps in the measured soil temperature data.
17. Key Words: Pavements, LTPP, frost penetration, freeze state, ER, soil temperature, EICM, TDR, moisture. 18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
19. Security Classif. (of this report)

Unclassified
20. Security Classif. (of this page)

Unclassified
21. No. of Pages

92
22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed pages authorized


Metric Conversion Chart


TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 2. REVIEW OF LTPP FROST PROCEDURES AND ASSESSMENT OF PREVIOUS ESTIMATES

CHAPTER 3. REVIEW OF ADVANCES IN THE STATE OF KNOWLEDGE IN FROST PENETRATION ANALYSIS

CHAPTER 4. ENHANCED METHODOLOGY FOR LTPP FROST DETERMINATION

CHAPTER 5. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ENHANCED FROST ANALYSIS METHODOLOGY

CHAPTER 6. LTPP DATA USED FOR FROST DETERMINATION

CHAPTER 7. FROST PENETRATION ANALYSIS RESULTS

Chapter 8. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

APPENDIX A. E-FROST USER'S GUIDE

APPENDIX B. EICM MODELING INPUTS

REFERENCES

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Illustration. LTPP SMP instrumentation layout

Figure 2. Chart. Previous FROST decision tree

Figure 3. Chart. Frost predictions for section 0114 in Montana

Figure 4. Chart. Comparison of ER, temperature, and moisture trends for section 0114 in Montana

Figure 5. Chart. Frost predictions for section 1028 in Minnesota

Figure 6. Chart. Frost predictions for section 0804 in South Dakota for 1994–1995 winter season

Figure 7. Chart. Comparison of ER, temperature, and moisture trends for section 0804 in South Dakota at 1.01 m (3.31 ft) depth

Figure 8. Chart. Frost predictions for section 1026 in Maine

Figure 9. Chart. Comparison of ER, temperature and moisture trends for section 1026 in Maine

Figure 10. Chart. Measured and EICM predicted temperatures for section 6251 in Minnesota at 0.8 m (2.6 ft) depth before auto-correction

Figure 11. Chart. Measured and EICM predicted temperatures for section 6251 in Minnesota at 0.8 m (2.6 ft) depth after auto-correction

Figure 12. Chart. Frost depth and layers interpretation using E-FROST

Figure 13. Equation. Normalized measurement

Figure 14. Equation. Interpolated measurement

Figure 15. Chart. Enhanced FROST algorithm

Figure 16. Chart. Example of temperature-based frost penetration profile for section 0804 in South Dakota

Figure 17. Chart. Example of ER, temperature, and moisture trends for section 0804 in South Dakota at 0.55 m (1.8 ft) depth

Figure 18. Chart. Example of final frost penetration profile for SMP site 46-0804 for the winter of 1999

Figure 19. Chart. Temperature and ER trends at 1.02 m (3.35 ft) for site 50-1002 during winter season 2000–2001

Figure 20. Picture. Locations of LTPP SMP sites analyzed in this study

Figure 21. Chart. Frost penetration profile showing multiple freeze-thaw cycles

Figure 22. Chart. Frost penetration profile showing shallow freeze cycles in the fall followed by solid deep freeze with spring thaw

Figure 23. Chart. Frost penetration profile showing solid freeze with partial spring thaw and refreeze.

Figure 24. Graph. Comparison of frost penetration depths

Figure 25. Screen capture. Opening screen in E-FROST

Figure 26. Screen capture. Tool buttons

Figure 27. Screen capture. Open database

Figure 28. Screen capture. Locate the database containing SMP data

Figure 29. Screen capture. Select data table for analysis

Figure 30. Screen capture. Frost linked to database with some tool buttons activated

Figure 31. Screen capture. SMP Section window

Figure 32. Screen capture. Blank Frost Penetration Analysis screen

Figure 33. Chart. Automatically generated frost penetration profile at SMP site 46-0804 for the winter of 1999

Figure 34. Chart. Time series plot for SMP site 46-0804 for the winter of 1999 at analysis depth = 0.55 m (1.8 ft)

Figure 35. Chart. Final frost penetration profile for SMP site 46-0804 for the winter of 1999

Figure 36. Screen capture. Create Frost Penetration Table option

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. LTPP section with previous frost depths estimates

Table 2. Freeze state evaluations using different data sources

Table 3. Freeze-state characteristics

Table 4. Freeze state and frost depth chart symbol shape and color coding

Table 5. Summary of data assembled for frost penetration analysis

Table 6. Summary of frost determinations

Table 7. Typical frost penetration profile characteristics for LTPP SMP sites

Table 8. Comparison of average frost depth for LTPP SMP sites

Table 9. Summary of information included in the revised table SMP_FREEZE_STATE

Table 10. Summary of information included in the revised table SMP_FROST_PENETRATION

Table 11. Freeze state and frost depth chart color coding

Table 12. EICM inputs

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with field offices across the United States. is a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Provide leadership and technology for the delivery of long life pavements that meet our customers needs and are safe, cost effective, and can be effectively maintained. Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) R&T Web site portal, which provides access to or information about the Agency’s R&T program, projects, partnerships, publications, and results.
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