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Impact on Soil and Groundwater from Road Maintenance and Traffic: Initial Study of the E18 Highway.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The investigation of environmental impacts of 16 different contaminants originating from the E18 Highway (17 000 AADT) were carried out over the first six months of the highway‘s operational life. Investigative methods used include electrical resistivity surveying, water chemistry analyses, soil analyses, distribution modelling and transportation modelling.

The investigation shows conclusively a year round infiltration due to melting of the snowpack from road salt, and a strong preferential anthropogenic pathway due to in-creased hydraulic conductivities of the road building materials relative to the natural soils. The resistivity surveys show values well below the expected values for the highway materials, indicating increased ionic content of the unsaturated zone. Time lapse resistivity modelling shows a clear downwards spreading of contamination from the roadway to subsurface distances greater than 5 m.

Elevated concentrations of nearly every contaminant relative to baseline values were observed, with many concentrations of metals in the snow pack averaging values in excess of Swedish EPA groundwater limitations. Distribution modelling demonstrated a potential offset of peak values from the road surface due to ploughing and splash transport processes, but otherwise conformed to established distribution patterns. One dimensional transport modelling demonstrated the importance of adsorption and other retentive factors to the migration of contaminants to the water table, and provided an estimate for potential long term contaminant concentrations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 41 p.
, TRITA-LWR Degree Project, ISSN 1651-064X ; LWR EX-11-21
Keyword [en]
Geophysics, Resistivity, Hydrogeology, Contaminant Transport, Contaminant Distribution, Soil and Water Chemistry
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-96291OAI: diva2:530190
Educational program
Degree of Master - Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure
Available from: 2012-06-01 Created: 2012-06-01 Last updated: 2012-06-01Bibliographically approved

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