Determining Ranges and Spatial Distribution of Road Frost Heave by Terrestrial Laser Scanning

Tarvo Mill, Artu Ellmann, Andrus Aavik, Milan Horemuz, Sven Sillamäe


The technology of terrestrial laser scanning has evolved rapidly in recent years and it has been used in various applications, including monitoring vertical and horizontal displacements of constructions but significantly less in road frost heave assessment. Frost heave is categorised as one of the main causes of pavement surface damage in seasonal frost regions. Frost heave occurs in wintertime and in early spring at the freezing process of the ground supported structures such as roads. The major change in the structure is the increase of soil volume due to freezing of its water content. This contribution assesses vertical displacements caused by frost heave on a road using novel terrestrial laser scanning technology. The study emphasises on benefits using the technology in determining accurate magnitudes and spatial distribution of frost heave of roads. The results of case study revealed uneven spatial distribution of frost heave, which may also be an evidence of relatively poor road design quality. Therefore it is also advisable using terrestrial laser scanning in applications such as quality assessment of existing roads and in the pre-reconstruction design stage for detecting any frost heave sensitive areas in existing embankments.


terrestrial laser scanning; levelling; frost heave; road condition measurement; pavement surface; embankment

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DOI: 10.3846/bjrbe.2014.28


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