Stress analysis of a proposed tunnel underr the South Pole skiway

TitleStress analysis of a proposed tunnel underr the South Pole skiway
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1993
AuthorsSodhi, D. S., Rand J. H., and Tobiasson W.
Conference Name61st Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 61st Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedJune 1993
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationQuebec City, Quebec
KeywordsSnow loading, Strength test, Stress, Tunnels

Unlined tunnels in the snow at the South Pole Station will be used for save movement of personnel to satellite science buildings during the austral winter. The first 1.8 m (6 ft) wide, 3 m (10 ft) high tunnel will pass under the existing skiway. This study determined the depth at which that tunnel should be located so that it is safe when aircraft pass over it. Three efforts were undertaken: (a) conducting a three-dimensional, elastic stress analysis of the snow around the tunnel, (b) comparing the maximum tensile and shear stresses from that analysis with corresponding strengths published in the literature, and (c) performing two experiments at the South Pole to determine the surface pressure required to fail the snow around model tunnels. We found general agreement of theoretical and experimental results and recommended that the roof of the tunnel be located at least 6.1 m (20 ft) below the surface of the skiway.