Norilsk scientists study permafrost under buildings
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Norilsk scientists study permafrost under buildings

April 11, 2022

25 city residential buildings were equipped with permafrost sensors.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In Norilsk, the work on the permafrost under residential buildings study is proceeding at an active pace. Monitoring will allow scientists to develop measures to preserve the city’s high-rise buildings.

Soil research is carried out using sensors and thermostabilization tubes. Experts drill a well deeper than the base of the piles, then a thermometric spit is installed in the well, which is a flexible tube with temperature sensors. Thus, any temperature fluctuations under high-rise buildings can be monitored in real time.

Wells in the undergrounds of 25 apartment buildings have already been drilled and prepared for installation of thermocouples.

In total, within the framework of the program for studying soils, implemented with the Nornickel financial support, by May this year, 53 houses in different districts of Norilsk will be equipped with special sensors. By the same time, the housing renovation fund will launch server equipment for collecting data from thermotubes.

The study of soils does not end there: the obtained core samples are sent to the Polar State University (PSU) – to the laboratory of the Research Center for Construction Technologies and Monitoring the Condition of Buildings and Structures in the Northern Arctic Territories.

“We register the drilled cores and keep them for 12 hours in freezers at different temperatures, depending on the depth from which these cores were taken. Then comes the testing time. At the expense of Nornickel, the main equipment was purchased to determine the cohesion of soils, their physical and mechanical properties. We also do compression testing to determine the water content and understand what happens to soils when compressed. In addition, there is a shear load test. It helps to identify adhesion to the foundation, to piles, and so on. And finally, a compression test. This is mechanics. We are studying how and to what extent the soil expands under mechanical influences”,  said Mikhail Yelesin, scientific director of the Research Center for Construction Technologies and Monitoring the Condition of Buildings and Structures in the Northern Arctic Territories.

Also, scientists additionally conduct research on an individual system developed jointly with specialists from Moscow State University:

“We are conducting a study to determine the temperature of soil thawing in order to understand at what temperatures serious changes occur. We generate the results obtained in a report in the form of graphs and transfer them to the PSU permafrost center for further work, including the creation of predictive models”.

Recall that Nornickel has already installed special temperature sensors at industrial facilities. Information about the state of soils, the angle of inclination and oscillatory accelerations is sent to a single control room.

Earlier, we told that the second scientific and technical conference Experience and Prospects for the Construction of Buildings and Structures on Permafrost Soils was held at the PSU. It was attended by leading Russian permafrost scientists.

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Text: Ekaterina Elkanova, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko

April 11, 2022

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