Evaluating the Performance of a Frozen Core Dam

Maritz Rykaart, Megan Millar, John Kurylo, Lowell Wade
Sunday, September 20, 2015
First presented: 
GeoQuebec 2015
Published paper

Download SRK paper from GeoQuebec 2015

A precedent-setting frozen core dam was constructed over 30 m thick, ice-rich, saline glacial marine silt and clay, and fine sand, as part of the tailings management system at the Doris North Project in Nunavut Canada. This water-retaining dam was completed in 2012, and two years of monitoring data confirm that the engineered (non-saline) core is maintaining a temperature below -2°C, whilst the underlying saline permafrost foundation is stabilizing with temperatures trending below -8°C as per the design. This paper presents this data, demonstrating the viability of this technology even under such challenging foundation conditions.

Feature Author
Dr. Maritz Rykaart
Principal Geotechnical Engineer

Maritz Rykaart, PhD, PEng (BC, SK, YT, NU/NWT), is a Practice Leader and Principal Geotechnical Engineer in SRK’s Vancouver office. He has undergraduate and Masters degrees in Civil Engineering, a PhD in Geotechnical engineering and 21 years of experience in mine management and applied research.

Maritz’s experience includes geotechnical field investigations; geotechnical analysis; environmental audits; landfill siting and design; siting design, construction, operation and monitoring of pollution control systems, water supply dams, tailings impoundments and river diversions; optimization of mine water balances; permafrost engineering; and mine closure planning, design and cost estimating; construction management, quality assurance and quality control, including managing EPCM contacts. Maritz routinely participates in Economic studies (PEA, PFS and FS) geotechnical inspections, safety reviews, and due diligence reviews of mine waste management aspects (i.e. tailings and waste rock) for international projects.



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