Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil Engineering


Frost action generally is used, in its broad sense, to include any detrimental effect on engineering works resulting from the penetration of frost below the surface of the ground. Considerable damage is done to roads, airfields, bridges, culverts, pipelines and buildings in regions where the ground and the climatological conditions are favorable to ground freezing and thawing. The writer has reviewed most of the available material pertaining to frost action in an effort to present the problem in an authentic manner, simple, yet reasonably up to date in theory and application. This study has been made from the stand-point of a highway engineer, since the interests of structural engineers and agronomists might be somewhat different. The body of this study is divided into six chapters emphasizing the following: damages and reduction of load carrying capacities in roads due to frost action; soil texture; liquid and gas soil moisture; soil temperatures; permafrost; and potential remedies.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Roads -- Frost damage
Pavements -- Frost damage


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University