March 24, 2022

« All News

Sofia Fernandez Santoyo Coauthored Review of Article on Soil-Freezing Curves for the Journal of Cold Regions Engineering

Sofia Fernandez Santoyo, S.M.ASCE (Illinois) coauthored an article entitled "A Review of the Existing Data on Soil-Freezing Experiments and Assessment of Soil-Freezing Curves Derived from Soil–Water Retention Curves" for publication in the March 2022 edition of the Journal of Cold Regions Engineering.

Sofia's coauthor was Tugce Baser, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Sofia Fernandez Santoyo is a Staff Professional at Geosyntec Consultants' Oak Brook, Illinois office. She is responsible for providing engineering support for various projects including geotechnical engineering investigations, writing technical reports, and performing geotechnical and hydrological analyses and design. She specializes in foundation design, geotechnical investigation, settlement and slope stability analysis, and helical piles and frozen soils.

The Journal of Cold Regions Engineering publishes practice- and research-oriented articles from any area of civil engineering that is substantially related to cold regions. Topics include ice engineering, ice force, construction on permafrost and seasonal frost, cold weather construction, environmental quality and engineering in cold regions, snow and ice control, cold regions materials, and surveying and planning in cold regions.


This study focuses on the investigation of the predictive capability of the Clausius–Clapeyron (C–C) equation in conjunction with soil–water retention characteristics to estimate soil-freezing curves (SFC). The Clausius–Clapeyron equation together with soil–water retention (SWR) models can provide a quick estimation of SFCs. However, the validity of the equilibrium assumption may not be applicable in all scenarios of freezing and thawing. The overall goal of this study is to provide a comprehensive assessment of SWRC-derived soil-freezing curves for different types of soils under varying environmental conditions. An extensive set of data obtained from studies reported in the literature pertaining to thermally induced hydraulic properties of sand, silt, and clay soils from multiscale experiments was analyzed. In addition, in-house laboratory freeze–thaw experiments were performed using silty soil. The SFCs derived from the SWRC were in good agreement with the measured SFCs for sands, whereas significant discrepancies were noted for silt and clay soils. Intensified discrepancies were noted when the results from different experimental methods and changing boundary conditions were compared. A significant hydraulic hysteresis was observed and possible controlling mechanisms were explained. A reliable method to predict SFC from SWRC will enable accurate modeling of coupled heat transfer and water flow processes in the Arctic subsurface for sustainable built and natural environments.

More Information

About the article: A Review of the Existing Data on Soil-Freezing Experiments and Assessment of Soil-Freezing Curves Derived from Soil–Water Retention Curves
About the Journal of Cold Regions Engineering:
For consultation regarding soil freezing, contact Sofia Fernandez Santoyo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Learn more about Sofia: Sofia Fernandez Santoyo | LinkedIn