Thawing permafrost under the pipeline

There’s a section of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline north of Fairbanks that is threatened by thawing permafrost, and steps are being taken to prevent or mitigate damage. Jack says the work is not visible from the Dalton. We’ll provide photos in the future if they become available, but for now here are some of the thermosyphons that are used to keep the permafrost cold under the pipeline, photos taken by us several years ago at about 26 Mile Dalton.

The below image is from Inside Climate News, Arthur Chapman via Flickr Creative Commons.

Refreezing Thawing Permafrost

Hurry hurry wait

In this one and a half minute video, Jack drives over the pipeline then has to wait in back of another truck while a grader finishes clearing the road.  Then he continues on down the hill – you can see the grader on the left.  (Don’t forget, the video is in HD so don’t watch it blurry!)

Curved directional pipe for crude oil

Crude oil pipe on truckI snapped these on Friday when this truck was fueling up to head north.Crude oil pipe on truck

Jack says they are used for crude oil and that they lay on their sides, not upright like on the truck. You can see the actual metal portion of the pipe that is colored green with anti-corrosion paint.  The black is thinner metal and in between the two is foam insulation.

This load is obviously going to Deadhorse or Prudhoe Bay.  (FYI:  Deadhorse refers to the “town” where companies have their operations, and Prudhoe Bay refers to the actual oil fields and is a much larger area.)

Click on the photos for larger images.