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Monitoring the impact of de-icing salt on roadside soils with time-lapse resistivity measurements
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2009 (English)In: Environmental Geology, ISSN 0943-0105, E-ISSN 1432-0495, Vol. 57, no 1, 217-229 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Monitoring systems along roads are needed to facilitate decisions on improving protection of water resources and decreasing the impact of road-related pollutants on the roadside environment. This paper presents a monitoring system using permanently installed electrodes and monthly measurements of resistivity at a motorway in Sweden with heavy loads of de-icing salt. A significant increase in resistivity in the vadose zone with increasing distance from the road was shown in both sand and glacial till areas during the whole year. By measuring temporal variations in a less affected environment further from the road, a distinction could be made between more natural variations and variations due to de-icing salt and melting of roadside snowbanks. The highest resistivities occurred in October-November and the lowest in January-March, while the more natural resistivities showed an opposing temporal variation. The difference was up to 35% on a log-scale in the sand area during the latter period. Hence, the time-lapse resistivity measurements clearly showed a strong influence of de-icing salt on roadside soils and groundwater during winter and spring. The measurement system and the analysis methods proved useful for monitoring both the spatial and seasonal variation in resistivity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 57, no 1, 217-229 p.
Keyword [en]
De-icing salt; Road; Resistivity measurement; Monitoring; Seasonal variation; ELECTRICAL-RESISTIVITY; GROUNDWATER; HIGHWAY; DEPOSITION; TRANSPORT; SNOWMELT; WATERS; RUNOFF
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7921DOI: 10.1007/s00254-008-1302-4ISI: 000263130100020Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-59649095999OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-7921DiVA: diva2:13095
Note
QC 20100526Available from: 2008-01-28 Created: 2008-01-28 Last updated: 2011-03-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Monitoring transport and fate of de-icing salt in the roadside environment: Modelling and field measurements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Monitoring transport and fate of de-icing salt in the roadside environment: Modelling and field measurements
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Roads and traffic are a major non-point source of pollutants and may have severe impacts on surface water, groundwater, soil and vegetation. In cold climates, de-icing salt is one such pollutant that may cause increased chloride concentrations and induce other effects on the environment. Monitoring and quantifying environmental effects are crucial for governing decisions towards more suitable use of de-icing salt in order to achieve and maintain good environmental status around roads. This thesis presents an operational modelling tool for monitoring the transport and fate of de-icing salt in the roadside environment in order to quantify changes in the environment at various spatial and temporal scales, using salt application data, meteorological data, geology and generic descriptions of hydrogeological environments as main inputs. A combination of modelling and various independent field measurements provided an efficient means for evaluating and describing the spread of de-icing salt from the road to the surroundings, the deposition of salt and ploughed snow in the roadside, and the corresponding increase in chloride concentration in soil and groundwater. Both the spatial and seasonal variation in soil chloride concentration were significantly affected by de-icing salt application. The importance of type of soil, vegetation type, groundwater conditions and distance from the road was clearly demonstrated for modelling the transport and fate of de-icing salt in the roadside environment. Salt emissions from the road by surface runoff were estimated at 50-80% of applied salt and transport by snow ploughing and air emissions at 20-50%. The uncertainty in the spatial distribution of snow and salt deposition close to the road was high and a previous proposed exponential decline in salt deposition with distance from the road could not be justified within a couple of metres from the road. Future monitoring should include both modelling and systematic data collection in order to reduce the uncertainty in predictions of the environmental impact of de-icing salt. Modelling of chloride concentration, soil water content and soil temperature and measurements of electrical resistivity may be a cost-effective solution for quantifying changes in the roadside environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. xii, 32 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1038
Keyword
Chloride, De-icing salt, Groundwater, Modelling, Monitoring, Road, Roadside, Soil water
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4615 (URN)978-91-7178-861-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-02-15, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100526Available from: 2008-01-28 Created: 2008-01-28 Last updated: 2011-11-25Bibliographically approved

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