An evaluation of pavement performance over muskeg in northern Ontario

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Journal titleHighway Research Board Bulletin
Pages3243; # of pages: 12
Subjectmuskegs; road pavements; properties of soils; shear strength; Roads; tourbiere; revetement routier; caracteristique du sol; resistance au cisaillement
AbstractThis paper is a report of a cooperative research program carried out in 1958 and 1959 by the National Research Council, Canada, and the Ontario Department of Highways to study the performance of some existing roads over muskeg in northern Ontario. Investigation of close to 50 different muskeg areas included classification of the muskeg, determination of the depth and type of fill, depth of the organic deposit, and type of mineral soil substratum. Roads over the muskeg areas were assessed on the basis of performance and surface condition relative to adjacent sections of road on mineral soil terrain. Many peat samples were obtained for laboratory analyses, which included water content, specific gravity, acidity, and ash content. During the second stage of the project an extensive series of field vane tests was carried out in certain selected muskeg areas that were typical for a certain region. Three different sizes of vanes were used. It is shown that road performance is better in muskeg areas with tall tree growth than in areas with little or no tree growth, other factors being equal. No correlation was evident between road condition and type of firm mineral soil substratum. However, an intermediate unstable layer of soft mineral soil is shown to be an important factor in road performance and condition. Although vane testing appears to be a feasible method for determining the shear strength of peat and excellent duplication of results was possible for any particular size of vane, these tests revealed a marked variation in the shear results depending on the vane size. Laboratory test results indicate correlations between moisture content and depth, specific gravity and moisture content, and acidity and carbon content.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number6992
NPARC number20358699
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Record identifier96f36d3a-868f-46a4-8aaa-02ea4539153e
Record created2012-07-20
Record modified2016-05-09
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