We develop a mathematical model of frost heave in colloidal soils. The theory accountsfor heave and consolidation while not requiring a frozen fringe assumption. Two solidificationregimes occur: a compaction regime in which the soil consolidates to accommodate the ice lenses, and a heave regime during which liquid is sucked into the consolidated soil from an external reservoir, and the added volume causes the soil to heave. The ice fraction is found to vary inversely with thefreezing velocity V , while the rate of heave is independent of V , consistent with field and laboratoryobservations. © 2011 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.