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On the utilization of hydrological modelling for road drainage design under climate and land use change
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
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2014 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 475, no 15, 97-103 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Road drainage structures are often designed using methods that do not consider process-based representations of a landscape's hydrological response. This may create inadequately sized structures as coupled land cover and climate changes can lead to an amplified hydrological response. This study aims to quantify potential increases of runoff in response to future extreme rain events in a 61 km2 catchment (40% forested) in southwest Sweden using a physically-based hydrological modelling approach. We simulate peak discharge and water level (stage) at two types of pipe bridges and one culvert, both of which are commonly used at Swedish road/stream intersections, under combined forest clear-cutting and future climate scenarios for 2050 and 2100. The frequency of changes in peak flow and water level varies with time (seasonality) and storm size. These changes indicate that the magnitude of peak flow and the runoff response are highly correlated to season rather than storm size. In all scenarios considered, the dimensions of the current culvert are insufficient to handle the increase in water level estimated using a physically-based modelling approach. It also appears that the water level at the pipe bridges changes differently depending on the size and timing of the storm events. The findings of the present study and the approach put forward should be considered when planning investigations on and maintenance for areas at risk of high water flows. In addition, the research highlights the utility of physically-based hydrological models to identify the appropriateness of road drainage structure dimensioning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 475, no 15, 97-103 p.
Keyword [en]
Clear-cutting, Extreme storm events, Runoff
National Category
Environmental Management
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140638DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.12.114ISI: 000331924200012ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84893067097OAI: diva2:692125

QC 201400130

Available from: 2014-01-30 Created: 2014-01-30 Last updated: 2014-04-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Road structures under climate and land use change: Bridging the gap between science and application
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Road structures under climate and land use change: Bridging the gap between science and application
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Future changes in climate and land use are likely to affect catchment hydrological responses and consequently influence the amount of runoff reaching roads. Blockages and damage to under-dimensioned infrastructure can be extremely costly for the regions affected. This study aims to produce scientifically well-founded suggestions on adaptation of road drainage systems to climate changes resulting in more frequent floods. This thesis demonstrates the need to integrate aspects of climate change and land use impacts into the planning and practice of road construction and maintenance in Sweden. Tools such as hydrological models are needed to assess impacts on discharge dynamics. Identifying a ‘best’ practically performing hydrological model is often difficult due to the potential influence of modeller subjectivity on calibration procedure, parameter selection, etc. Hydrological models may need to be selected on a case-by-case basis and have their performance evaluated on an application-by-application basis.

The work presented here began by examining current practice for road drainage systems in Sweden. Various hydrological models were then used to calculate the runoff from a catchment adjacent to a road and estimate changes in peak discharge and total runoff resulting from simulated land use measures. Overall, the results indicate that the specific effect of land use measures on catchment discharge depend on their spatial distribution and on the size and timing of storm events. Scenarios comprising a changing climate up to 2050 or to 2100 and forest clear-cutting were used to determine whether the current design of road drainage construction is sufficient for future conditions. Based on the findings, the approach developed can be used for similar studies, e.g. by the Swedish Transport Administration in dimensioning future road drainage structures to provide safe and robust infrastructure.

Furthermore, a statistical method was developed for estimating and mapping flood hazard probability along roads using road and catchment characteristics. The method allows flood hazards to be estimated and provides insight into the relative roles of landscape characteristics in determining road-related flood hazards. Overall, this method provides an efficient way to estimate flooding hazards and to inform the planning of future roadways and the maintenance of existing roadways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. xii, 31 p.
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 2014:01
Adaptation, extreme rainfall events, runoff, land use, climate change, flood hazard
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
SRA - Transport; Järnvägsgruppen - Infrastruktur
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140631 (URN)978-91-7595-000-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-02-14, Sal V1, Teknikringen 76, 1 tr., KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20140130

Available from: 2014-01-30 Created: 2014-01-29 Last updated: 2015-01-16Bibliographically approved

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