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Estimating the fate of de-icing salt in a roadside environment by combining modelling and field observations
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.
2008 (English)In: Water, Air and Soil Pollution, ISSN 0049-6979, E-ISSN 1573-2932, Vol. 195, no 1-4, 215-232 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Predicting the environmental effects of de-icing salt requires knowledge of the pathways taken by salt from on-road application through spread to the surroundings to deposition and fate in the roadside environment. This study described differences in chloride deposition and distribution in soil with increasing distance from the road by means of field observations and modelling. The dynamic modelling approach successfully represented the spread of de-icing salt from road to surroundings, deposition in the roadside environment and the subsequent infiltration into roadside soil. The general decrease in soil chloride content with distance from the road was described by differences in salt deposition, soil physical properties, vegetation properties and snow characteristics. The uncertainty in model predictions was highest in areas close to the road due to a complex combination of high salt deposition, snow-ploughed masses and road runoff. The exponential decline in salt deposition with distance from the road could not be justified close to the road. Different types of field investigations were applied in a calibration procedure to establish reasonable ranges for the most influential model parameters. Measured electrical resistivity reflected well the changes in simulated chloride content in soil during winter and spring when chloride concentrations were high. However, during summer or periods with low chloride concentrations the measured resistivity was substantially lower than simulated values, as it reflected the total contamination level in soil.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 195, no 1-4, 215-232 p.
Keyword [en]
airborne deposition; chloride content; coupmodel; electrical resistivity; monitoring; road salt; roadside; soils; TIME-DOMAIN REFLECTOMETRY; SOIL-WATER; GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION; HEAT-BALANCE; RUNOFF; SIMULATIONS; UNCERTAINTY; DEPOSITION; HIGHWAY; QUALITY
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7924DOI: 10.1007/s11270-008-9741-9ISI: 000259485100019Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-52549125958OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-7924DiVA: diva2:13098
Note
QC 20100526Available from: 2008-01-28 Created: 2008-01-28 Last updated: 2010-09-14Bibliographically 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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