A review of experimental and prediction methods for assessing the freezing characteristic curve of GCLs

G. G. Carnero-Guzman, A. Bouazza, W. P. Gates, Ronald Kerry Rowe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther


Geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) are an important part of composite hydraulic barriers in environmental projects, with recent applications in harsh conditions such as in Antarctica. To assure an adequate hydraulic performance of the GCL, the bentonite of the GCL needs to be well-hydrated. However, the sub-zero temperatures attained in Antarctica freeze the water inside the bentonite, and as a result, the hydration process stops with potential consequences on the hydraulic performance of the GCL. To predict the impact of freezing on GCL performance, it is essential to obtain the unsaturated freeze property functions (UFPFs) for the bentonite. The freezing characteristic curve (FCC), which relates the unfrozen water content with freezing temperatures, is the first of the UFPFs, and can be obtained experimentally or by prediction methods. This paper reviews the concepts leading to the determination of the FCC, its relationship with the other UFPFs and its importance for predicting GCL performance in cold regions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Congress on Environmental Geotechnics Volume 2 - Towards a Sustainable Geoenvironment
EditorsAbdelmalek Bouazza, Liangtong Zhan, Yunmin Chen
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9789811322235
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
EventInternational Congress on Environmental Geotechnics 2018 - Hangzhou, China
Duration: 28 Oct 20181 Nov 2018
Conference number: 8th

Publication series

NameEnvironmental Science and Engineering
ISSN (Print)1863-5520
ISSN (Electronic)1863-5539


ConferenceInternational Congress on Environmental Geotechnics 2018
Abbreviated titleICEG 2018
Internet address


  • Cold regions engineering
  • Geosynthetic clay liners
  • Unsaturated behavior
  • Unsaturated freezing property functions

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