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Take a Virtual Tunnel Tour. See permafrost up close; learn about ice wedges, ice lenses, and other permafrost features; see bones of the Pleistocene bison, mammoth, and horse.
The United States Army maintains and operates a unique research facility near Fairbanks, Alaska, known as the CRREL Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility. CRREL is an acronym for the U.S. Army's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center.

The Permafrost Tunnel was excavated from 1963–1969 for the study of permafrost, geology, ice science, and the mining and construction techniques specific to permafrost environments. The story of the tunnel excavation is found in the Excavation Methods page of this Web site. Fascinating features of the tunnel are described in the Soil and Rock and Paleontology sections, and are shown during the Virtual Tunnel Tour. The Permafrost Tunnel offers a unique research platform for scientists and engineers who wish to study a frozen environment over 40,000 years old.

Researchers at the CRREL Alaska Research Office Fairbanks, Alaska, maintain and manage the Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility and offer support for scientific research projects.

Organizations and individual researchers interested in conducting scientific research in the Tunnel should contact:

Alaska Research Office Fairbanks
Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory
Building 4070
P.O. Box 35170
Ft. Wainwright, Alaska   99703-0170


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Alaska Research Office Fairbanks

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Page last updated 1/3/12.

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ERDC Home Page CRREL Home Page Tunnel Overview: Description Tunnel Overview: Location Tunnel Overview: Virtual Tunnel Tour Tunnel Geology: Soil and Rock Tunnel Geology: Paleontology Permafrost: General Facts Permafrost: Cryostructures Permafrost: Massive Ice Permafrost: Patterned Ground Permafrost: Climate Change Tunnel Engineering: Excavation Methods Tunnel Engineering: Keeping It Frozen Research: Bibliography Research: Ongoing Research Alaska Research Office Anchorage Alaska Research Office Fairbanks