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Name: Jake
Status: Other
Grade: Other
Location: CO
Country: United States
Date: September 2006


Question:
While working on a construction projects during the winter in northern Canada, I have come across an interesting practice. Bulldozers were used to drag heavy tires across the ground in an attempt to "push" the frost deeper into the ground. The way it was explained to me, "pushing frost" results in deeper frost in the ground underneath the traveled path of the dozer. The desired end result is that the frost lasts longer into the spring and summer making site work much easier.

I am skeptical that the procedure works and have no evidence either way but many of the equipment operators swore that they had seen evidence of its effectiveness. Is there any evidence of this phenomenon and if so, is there an explanation?



Replies:
Jake,

I have never heard of the practice you mention. I have to agree without that it sounds like complete nonsense! I cannot imagine how dragging a tire (even a big one!) over frozen ground could possibly cause the layer of frost underground to move deeper. To "move" the frost deeper, actually requires the ground below the frost layer to freeze (after all, how else is frost formed?). Dragging a tire across the ground is obviously not going to cause the ground under the existing frost layer to freeze to form a thicker layer of frost underground.

Regards,

Bob Wilson.



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