Uncontrolled artesian well in permafrost
Civil and Environmental Engineering,
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Abstract. Artesian wells in permafrost are common
in interior Alaska. Hundreds are known to exist in the Fairbanks-North
Pole metropolitan area and satellite communities. These wells can be
problematic when installed and catastrophic with loss of control at some
future time. Significant damage to infrastructure and property, property
depreciation, and liability issues can result. In cold regions, wells
must be heated through the active layer to keep them from freezing.
Heating is routinely accomplished with heat tape on a timer system.
The question is: How much heat is too much heat to melt permafrost and
lead to loss of control of the well? This presentation documents one
case study of an uncontrolled artesian well that occurred in winter
2006 in the Goldstream Valley, north of Fairbanks.
For more information contact: Jeff Derry (907) 322-