A laboratory simulation of rock breakdown due to freeze-thaw in a maritime Antarctic environment
Results of freeze‐thaw simulations on three large blocks of quartz‐micaschist are presented. Three types of water to ice phase change were identified from temperature and ultrasonic measurements. It is suggested that the type of phase change results from a particular combination of rock moisture content, solute concentration, freeze amplitude, and rate of fall of temperature. The temperature at which ice thawed inside the rock (−0.7 to −1.9°C) was also found, and this indicates the possibility of freeze‐thaw effects without positive temperatures. Approximately 80 per cent of the water that will freeze under natural conditions, in the Maritime Antarctic environment under study, appears to have done so by −6°.