Tunneling & Construction in Wet Ground


GEOFROST delivers safe and well proven solutions based on ground freezing technology, with focus on tunneling and construction in wet ground. The business areas are:

  • Tunnels for infrastructure and mining
  • Hydro power plant refurbishment
  • Municipal piping works
  • Civil works
  • Contaminated environment
  • Ground investigation



GEOFROST is a contractor delivering all services related to ground freezing and provides its clients with complete engineering solutions. The core services are feasibility studies, design, construction and management and the contractual interface is adaptable to the client’s needs. GEOFROST takes the full responsibility for its temporary structures.


Safety first

Safety will always be our priority and something we never compromise on. It is crucial to our clients and the surroundings and a key factor in all our work.

Green technology

Sustainable solutions are important. The ground itself is used as the construction material. When mission is completed the unfrozen state is reestablished. We do not use any poisonous materials and our refrigerants do not affect the climate.

Social responsibility

We are a conscious part of the society and through our core values we take responsibility. GEOFROST shall never offer or accept a bribe or other improper payment for any reason.

Solid competence

GEOFROST is a specialized geotechnical contractor focusing on wet ground challenges and solutions by ground freezing technology. The company adopts modern technology and methods and is following possibilities in new developments.

GEOFROST has connections to academia, takes part in shaping technical standards and is represented in various technical societies. Specialist core competence, optimized equipment and a network of partners and suppliers provide high quality serivces.

Long experience

GEOFROST was founded in 1986 and has carried out numerous projects and gained invaluable experience within its business areas. Besides contracting, the company has done consultancy and research assignments and has also experience from the client’s side in large infrastructure projects.

Frost heave
Seasonal frost and AGF have different impact on the ground.

Frost heave requires that all three of the following three factors are present:

  1. Subfreezing temperature

  2. Free access to water

  3. Frost susceptible soil

Whether a soil is frost susceptible or not, depends on

a) the permeability or the rate at which the soil can suck water to the freezing front in relation to the rate of the frost penetration and

b) the confining stress of the soil in the frost penetration direction.

Quick clay
Their sensitivity must be taken into consideration in geo-design.

Water content of quick clay is generally higher than the liquid limit, representing potential settlements when released. There are mitigations that can be undertaken before freezing to avoid thaw setlements after freezing and thawing.

Water flow
Moving water represents extra heat to be removed.

If water flows through the volume to be frozen, there must be capacity enough to remove the heat added by the moving water in addition to the heat that must be removed to make the water transform into ice.

Warm climate
Freezing may be done in warm climate as well as cold climate.

Temperature has to be lowered from a higher level, but the transition from water to ice requires the same heat removal.

Back in 1995 GEOFROST did the first ground freezing project in Hong Kong, in connection with “The Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme – Stage 1” on reclaimed land in Kowloon. The summer weather in Hong Kong is hot and humid. Average temperature is 28 °C, and the mean daytime temperature may often exceed 32 °C.

High water pressure
High pore water pressure doesn’t prevent the ground from freezing.

Both under high mountains and deep under the fjords, ground water pressure is high. These pressures are no problem for ground freezing. GEOFROST’s pore pressure record so far is 140 kPa beneath the frozen cone in The Oslofjord subsea road tunnel. Read more….

Temporary plugging
After the need for plugging disappears, the ice plug is melted away.

The ice plug concept developed by GEOFROST is based on two facts:

1) materials are gaining strength when frozen and

2) the sealing may easily be removed after use.

The concept is ideal for temporary works in connection with maintenance and refurbishment in water filled hydro tunnels. The method has low impact on the environment.

Temporary plugging of Skoddeberg headrace tunnel.

During research, the worlds first ice plug was created, holding back one of Statkrafts hydro power reservoirs:

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