Three-Dimensional Fully Coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Model for Thaw Consolidation of Permafrost

Min Liew, Ming Xiao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A fully coupled three-dimensional (3D) thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) model is developed for simulating the complex multiphysics process of permafrost thaw. The 3D formulation allows the analysis of thaw consolidation problems with complex geometry and boundary conditions. The thermal, hydraulic, and mechanical fields are coupled in this model. Governing equations are derived based on the laws of conservation of each field: conservation of energy for the thermal field, conservation of mass for the hydraulic field, and conservation of momentum for the mechanical field. Physical processes such as heat conduction, phase change, thermal convection, fluid flow due to pore water pressure, elevation, thermal gradients, and force equilibrium based on effective stress theory are considered in this model. The model is then applied to simulate the thaw consolidation of permafrost. The simulation results show that excess pore water pressure is generated in the soil during thawing. The soil then experiences a time-dependent settlement following the dissipation of excess pore water pressure. The results prove that the THM model adequately captures the thaw consolidation process of permafrost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeotechnical Special Publication
EditorsEllen Rathje, Brina M. Montoya, Mark H. Wayne
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages12
EditionGSP 342
ISBN (Electronic)9780784484654, 9780784484661, 9780784484678, 9780784484685, 9780784484692, 9780784484708
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 Geo-Congress: Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions from the Ground Up - Geotechnical Data Analysis and Computation - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: Mar 26 2023Mar 29 2023

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
NumberGSP 342
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


Conference2023 Geo-Congress: Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions from the Ground Up - Geotechnical Data Analysis and Computation
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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