General Kinnematics
September 2021
Volume 73    Issue 9

Ground freezing on a large scale

Mining Engineering , 2021, Vol. 73, No. 9, pp. 137-137
Sopko, J.; Auld, F.A.


Artificial ground freezing for shafts and tunnels related to subway, water and sewer projects have been the focus of many articles and conference topics in recent years. Few readers are aware however, that this technique to provide temporary earth support and ground water control originated in the mining industry in the late 1800s. The first documented project was a coal mine in Wales. Another unknown fact is the magnitude of ground freezing projects on mining projects. This article reviews past mine projects throughout the world where ground freezing was essential for successful shaft sinking and surface drift construction. It mentions other innovative mine projects where again, it was necessary to adopt ground freezing to enable the projects to be undertaken and three of these are discussed in more detail. Projects of the magnitude in mining works require specialized design and analysis techniques that are reviewed. The construction methods and quality assurance programs are emphasized. The projects discussed show how innovative methods set records for projects on a very large scale. 

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