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Modeling water flow patterns in flexible pavements
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California.
2005 (English)In: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, ISSN 0361-1981, Vol. 1936, 131-141 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most road design models do not explicitly account for moisture transport mechanisms in roads, even though it is well known that water content plays an important part in the deterioration of roads. The Swedish National Road Administration aims to improve the current situation by supporting the development of models that eventually can provide a better and more complete description of the road and environment system. The applicability of hydrological theories and methods to the road and environment system was investigated. Particular attention was paid to flow patterns inside the road as affected by capillary barriers and generated by mechanisms of surface runoff, followed by infiltration into cracks, and the embankment. Particle tracking was used to investigate the effect of rain intensity, precipitated amount, or fracture conductivity on the flow patterns. Changes in rain intensity had a small effect on flow patterns, but velocities were higher for larger rain intensities. Both changes in precipitated amount and fracture conductivity controlled the appearance of the flow patterns, but capillary barrier effects were limited. The numerical code used proved to be mostly appropriate in describing the relevant processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 1936, 131-141 p.
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92715DOI: 10.3141/1936-16OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92715DiVA: diva2:165893
Available from: 2005-03-11 Created: 2005-03-11 Last updated: 2013-02-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Water and Heat Transport in Road Structures: Development of Mechanistic Models
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Water and Heat Transport in Road Structures: Development of Mechanistic Models
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The coupled transport of water and heat, involving freezing and thawing, in the road structure and its immediate environment is important to consider for optimal design and maintenance of roads and when assessing solute transport, of e.g. de-icing salt, from roads. The objective of this study was to develop mechanistic models, and measurement techniques, suitable to describe and understand water flow and heat flux in road structures exposed to a cold climate.

Freezing and thawing was accounted for by implementing new routines in two numerical models (HYDRUS1D/2D). The sensitivity of the model output to changes in parameter values and operational hydrological data was investigated by uncertainty and sensitivity analyses. The effect of rainfall event characteristics and asphalt fractures on the subsurface flow pattern was investigated by scenario modelling. The performance of water content reflectometers (WCR), measuring water content, was evaluated using measurements in two road structure materials. A numerical model was used to simulate WCR sensor response. The freezing/thawing routines were stable and provided results in agreement with laboratory measurements. Frost depth, thawing period, and freezing-induced water redistribution in a model road was greatly affected by groundwater level and type of subgrade. The simulated subsurface flow patterns corresponded well with published field observations. A new method was successful in enabling the application of time domain reflectometer (TDR) calibration equations to WCR output. The observed distortion in sampling volume for one of the road materials could be explained by the WCR sensor numerical model. Soil physical, hydrological, and hydraulic modules proved successful in simulating the coupled transport of water and heat in and on the road structure. It was demonstrated in this thesis that numerical models can improve the interpretation and explanation of measurements. The HYDRUS model was an accurate and pedagogical tool, clearly useful in road design and management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2005. 69 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 23
Hydrology, Water flow, Heat flow, Unsaturated flow, Freeze-thaw, Numerical models, Uncertainty analysis, Sensitivity analysis, Roads, Overland flow, Flow patterns, TDR, Water content reflectometer, Calibration, Fractures, Hydrologi
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4822 (URN)91-554-6172-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-04-01, Axel Hambergsalen, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 10:00
Available from: 2005-03-11 Created: 2005-03-11Bibliographically approved

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Lundin, Lars-Christer
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