A Multiphysics Simulation of the Effects of Wicking Geotextile on Mitigating Frost Heave under Cold Region Pavement

Yusheng Jiang, Zaid Alajlan, Claudia Zapata, Xiong Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Geotextile offers numerous benefits in improving pavement performance, including drainage, barrier functionality, filtration, and reinforcement. Wicking geotextile, a novel variant in this category, possesses the intrinsic ability to drain water autonomously from soils. This paper details the development and application of a comprehensive multiphysics model that simulates the performance of wicking geotextile within a pavement system under freezing climates. The model considers the inputs of various environmental dynamics, including the impact of meteorological factors, groundwater levels, ground heat, and drainage on the pavement system. The model was firstly validated using field data from a long-term pavement performance (LTPP) road section in the cold region. It was subsequently applied to assess the impacts of wicking geotextile if it was installed on the road section. The model simulated the coupled temporal and spatial variations in soil moisture content and temperature. The simulation results demonstrated that wicking geotextile would create a suction zone around its installation location to draw water from surrounding soils, therefore reducing the overall unfrozen water content in the pavement. The results also showed that the installation of wicking geotextile would delay the initiation of frost heave and reduce its magnitude in cold region pavement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • cold region
  • frost heave mitigation
  • multiphysics modeling
  • pavement
  • wicking geotextile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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