Cold regions and permafrost engineering are specialized aspects of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering that focus on the unique conditions encountered in cold climates, including ground ice characterization, geothermal evaluations, and creep deformations. These have been core BGC competencies since our inception, as one of BGC’s founders was part of the permafrost engineering expertise developed at the University of Alberta in the 1970’s. In addition to services related to this expertise, BGC also provides specialist services in the areas of glacial and periglacial environment assessments.
BGC has become a world leader in cold climate services, as we have undertaken civil, mining and pipeline projects at high latitude sites across all three northern territories in Canada, as well as in Alaska, Russia, Greenland and high elevation sites in Central Asia and the South American Andes.
As industrial development continues to expand in cold regions, there is growing concern related to the availability of water resources and potential environmental impacts that may exist in glacial, periglacial and permafrost environments. Understanding glaciers and permafrost is crucial for the development of project plans, impact assessments and engineering design for projects located in these cold environments. BGC is at the forefront of high elevation glaciology and periglacial assessments and mountain permafrost studies. We specialize in environmental assessments, particularly their interaction with engineering design aspects and their relation to geohazards and hydrological impacts.
BGC offers a variety of engineering and environmental services for glaciological and permafrost studies, including:
Characterizations of ground ice and thermal regimes
BGC’s core competencies of cold regions and permafrost engineering support all of these services, providing our clients with appropriate designs that can be properly constructed and operated in challenging cold climate environments.
Cold regions and permafrost engineering are, by nature, focused on the geothermal considerations and proper characterization of permafrost, including aspects of both the geothermal regime and ground ice content. This type of engineering requires very specialized training and experience in the investigation, design (including thermal) and construction of facilities and structures in complex ground conditions. BGC’s cold regions and permafrost engineering services include: