Frost Heaving

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frost heaving

[′frȯst ‚hēv·iŋ]
The lifting and distortion of a surface due to internal action of frost resulting from subsurface ice formation; affects soil, rock, pavement, and other structures.

Frost Heaving


increase in the volume of freezing moist soils and loose rocks as a result of the crystallization of water (which forms ice interlayers, lenses, and the like) and the decompaction of mineral particles. It is observed in areas where there is seasonally and permanently frozen ground. Frost heaving is caused by the uneven lifting of the freezing layers. The reason for the differences in magnitude of lifting is differences in conditions of freezing, the composition of the rocks, the moisture, density, and so on. Clayey rocks are most subject to frost heaving because frost heaving depends not only on the moisture of the rocks but also on migrational moisture entering the freezing ground from adjacent unfrozen zones. The stresses that arise in the ground during frost heaving may cause breaks in the root systems of plants, deformation and shifting of structures, and the like. The unfavorable consequences of frost heaving are prevented by land reclamation, treating the ground with substances that change its physicochemical properties, and using special building structures.


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Orlov, V. O. Kriogennoe puchenie tonkodispersnykh gruntov. Moscow, 1962.
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Kiselev, M. F. Meropriiatiia protiv deformatsii zdanii i sooruzhenii ot deistviia sil moroznogo vypuchivaniia fundamentov. Moscow, 1971.


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