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Monitoring transport and fate of de-icing salt in the roadside environment: Modelling and field measurements
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
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 [en]
Chloride, De-icing salt, Groundwater, Modelling, Monitoring, Road, Roadside, Soil water
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4615ISBN: 978-91-7178-861-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4615DiVA: diva2:13100
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
List of papers
1. Chloride deposition and distribution in soils along a deiced highway: assessment using different methods of measurement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chloride deposition and distribution in soils along a deiced highway: assessment using different methods of measurement
2007 (English)In: Water, Air and Soil Pollution, ISSN 0049-6979, E-ISSN 1573-2932, Vol. 182, no 1-4, 173-185 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A comparison was made of the ability of three different methods to describe the deposition and distribution of chloride from deicing salt in the roadside environment along a highway: direct sampling of airborne deposition (including snow ploughing) in containers; soil sampling and analysis of chloride content in the topsoil; and direct current resistivity measurements. Each method showed a distribution with significant decreasing values with increasing distance from the road. Two transport mechanisms, splash and spray, were identified when describing the airborne deposition. A mathematical model that includes these two transport mechanisms was adopted, and the total amount of airborne deposition on the ground 0-100 m from the road was estimated to approximately 45% of the salt applied on the road. The main part of the chloride spread by air and ploughing ended up within 10 m from the road. The soil sampling and resistivity measurements also showed the highest impact within this distance. The variation in chloride content in the soils reflected a poorer drainage ability of fine-grained soils compared to more coarse-grained soils. The resistivity measurements represented an integrated value of the differences in geology, water content and salinity. The increase in resistivity with distance from road in the topsoil was interpreted to reflect the distribution of chloride from deicing salt.

Keyword
deicing salt, monitoring, deposition, resistivity, soil content, roadside environment
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7920 (URN)10.1007/s11270-006-9330-8 (DOI)000246360400016 ()2-s2.0-34248329919 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100526Available from: 2008-01-28 Created: 2008-01-28 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Monitoring the impact of de-icing salt on roadside soils with time-lapse resistivity measurements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Monitoring the impact of de-icing salt on roadside soils with time-lapse resistivity measurements
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.

Keyword
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:nbn:se:kth:diva-7921 (URN)10.1007/s00254-008-1302-4 (DOI)000263130100020 ()2-s2.0-59649095999 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100526Available from: 2008-01-28 Created: 2008-01-28 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Generic soil descriptions for modelling water and chloride dynamics in the unsaturated zone based on Swedish soils
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Generic soil descriptions for modelling water and chloride dynamics in the unsaturated zone based on Swedish soils
2009 (English)In: Geoderma, ISSN 0016-7061, E-ISSN 1872-6259, Vol. 150, no 1-2, 85-95 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Information about soil hydraulic properties is a prerequisite for modelling water and solute dynamics in the unsaturated zone. Providing that this information is available and the uncertainty is within an acceptable range, computer models can be helpful tools in quantifying environmental effects. This study describes the water retention curve and hydraulic conductivity for three soil types: clay, glacial till and sand. These soils originated from a Swedish database containing 2200 measured soil layers representing 260 soil profiles. A simulation experiment was conducted where daily variations in water and chloride were simulated for a 20-year period in central Sweden, using the different soil profiles sampled from the database. Two approaches to calculate effective parameters were tested, in order to obtain generic soil descriptions and examine their ability to represent the average of the variation in chloride and water characteristics obtained for the respective soil type. In general, the use of these effective parameters was successful but overestimations of the water and chloride outflow occurred in the clay, which presented high spatial variability, and of the chloride concentration in the sand, which presented high temporal variability. Overall, the generic soil descriptions were useful in producing reasonable behaviour regarding water and chloride dynamics and could be recommended for general assessments of the environmental impact of non-reactive solutes from ;areas where simplified soil classifications are available.

Keyword
Effective parameters; Modelling; Soil database; Soil hydraulic properties; Water retention curve; EFFECTIVE HYDRAULIC PARAMETERS; SPATIALLY-VARIABLE FIELDS; PEDOTRANSFER FUNCTIONS; VERTICAL FLOW; BULK-DENSITY; GROUNDWATER; BALANCE; SCALE; CONDUCTIVITY; UNCERTAINTY
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7922 (URN)10.1016/j.geoderma.2009.01.014 (DOI)000265342800010 ()2-s2.0-62049084865 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100526Available from: 2008-01-28 Created: 2008-01-28 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Transfer of de-icing salt by road runoff and aerial dispersal under the influence of snow ploughing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Transfer of de-icing salt by road runoff and aerial dispersal under the influence of snow ploughing
(English)In: Nordic Hydrology, ISSN 0029-1277, E-ISSN 1996-9694Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7923 (URN)
Note
QS 20120328Available from: 2008-01-28 Created: 2008-01-28 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. Estimating the fate of de-icing salt in a roadside environment by combining modelling and field observations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Estimating the fate of de-icing salt in a roadside environment by combining modelling and field observations
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.

Keyword
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:nbn:se:kth:diva-7924 (URN)10.1007/s11270-008-9741-9 (DOI)000259485100019 ()2-s2.0-52549125958 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100526Available from: 2008-01-28 Created: 2008-01-28 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
6. Regional GIS-linked model to monitor the environmental impacts of de-icing salt
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Regional GIS-linked model to monitor the environmental impacts of de-icing salt
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7925 (URN)
Note
QC 20100526Available from: 2008-01-28 Created: 2008-01-28 Last updated: 2010-05-26Bibliographically approved

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