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Road structures under climate and land use change: Bridging the gap between science and application
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
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.
Series
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 2014:01
Keyword [en]
Adaptation, extreme rainfall events, runoff, land use, climate change, flood hazard
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
SRA - Transport; Järnvägsgruppen - Infrastruktur
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140631ISBN: 978-91-7595-000-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-140631DiVA: diva2:691994
Public defence
2014-02-14, Sal V1, Teknikringen 76, 1 tr., KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20140130

Available from: 2014-01-30 Created: 2014-01-29 Last updated: 2015-01-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Road drainage in Sweden: Current Practice and Suggestions for Adaptation to Climate Change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Road drainage in Sweden: Current Practice and Suggestions for Adaptation to Climate Change
2013 (English)In: Journal of Infrastructure Systems, ISSN 1076-0342, E-ISSN 1943-555X, Vol. 19, no 2, 147-156 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper describes current practice in road surface and subsurface drainage in Sweden and analyzes the necessity for adaptation of the planning, construction, operation, maintenance and monitoring of road drainage measures to climate change. Based on a survey of professionals working with various aspects of road drainage, the study sought to identify: (1) problems experienced concerning road drainage, focusing on the current Swedish climate; (2) future problems regarding climate change impacts such as flooding and high flows; and (3) suggestions for adaptation measures concerning road drainage systems, taking future climate change into account. Suggested improvements concerning management and planning included clarification of responsibility for drainage issues, better overview of the location and condition of drainage facilities, inclusion of drainage system maintenance in procurement of operation contracts, maintenance plans for drainage facilities, and monitoring and inspection of drainage measures. Suggestions concerning drainage system construction, operation and maintenance included increasing the capacity of drainage facilities, stabilizing ditch slopes and various measures to prevent clogging of culverts.

Keyword
infrastructure, road transportation system, adaptation, operation and maintenance
National Category
Infrastructure Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-50105 (URN)10.1061/(ASCE)IS.1943-555X.0000119 (DOI)000318651800003 ()2-s2.0-84881269932 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20130618

Available from: 2011-12-01 Created: 2011-12-01 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
2. Modeller subjectivity and calibration impacts on hydrological model applications: An event-based comparison for a road-adjacent catchment in south-east Norway
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modeller subjectivity and calibration impacts on hydrological model applications: An event-based comparison for a road-adjacent catchment in south-east Norway
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2015 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 502, 315-329 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Identifying a 'best' performing hydrologic model in a practical sense is difficult due to the potential influences of modeller subjectivity on, for example, calibration procedure and parameter selection. This is especially true for model applications at the event scale where the prevailing catchment conditions can have a strong impact on apparent model performance and suitability. In this study, two lumped models (CoupModel and HBV) and two physically-based distributed models (LISEM and MIKE SHE) were applied to a small catchment upstream of a road in south-eastern Norway. All models were calibrated to a single event representing typical winter conditions in the region and then applied to various other winter events to investigate the potential impact of calibration period and methodology on model performance. Peak flow and event-based hydrographs were simulated differently by all models leading to differences in apparent model performance under this application. In this case study, the lumped models appeared to be better suited for hydrological events that differed from the calibration event (i.e., events when runoff was generated from rain on non-frozen soils rather than from rain and snowmelt on frozen soil) while the more physical-based approaches appeared better suited during snowmelt and frozen soil conditions more consistent with the event-specific calibration. This was due to the combination of variations in subsurface conditions over the eight events considered, the subsequent ability of the models to represent the impact of the conditions (particularly when subsurface conditions varied greatly from the calibration event), and the different approaches adopted to calibrate the models. These results indicate that hydrologic models may not only need to be selected on a case-by-case basis but also have their performance evaluated on an application-by-application basis since how a model is applied can be equally important as inherent model structure.

Keyword
Extreme weather events, Road infrastructure, Road drainage, Hydrological model, Runoff
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140641 (URN)10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.09.030 (DOI)000345730800035 ()25262294 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-84907705405 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 20114390
Note

QC 20150116

Available from: 2014-01-30 Created: 2014-01-30 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Quantifying the hydrological impact of simulated changes in land use on peak discharge in a small catchment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quantifying the hydrological impact of simulated changes in land use on peak discharge in a small catchment
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2014 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 466-467, 741-754 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A physically-based, distributed hydrological model (MIKE SHE) was used to quantify overland runoff in response to four extreme rain events and four types of simulated land use measure in a catchment in Norway. The current land use in the catchment comprises arable lands, forest, urban areas and a stream that passes under a motorway at the catchment outlet. This model simulation study demonstrates how the composition and configuration of land use measures affect discharge at the catchment outlet differently in response to storms of different sizes. For example, clear-cutting on 30% of the catchment area produced a 60% increase in peak discharge and a 10% increase in total runoff resulting from a 50-year storm event in summer, but the effects on peak discharge were less pronounced during smaller storms. Reforestation of 60% of the catchment area was the most effective measure in reducing peak flows for smaller (2-, 5- and 10-year) storms. Introducing grassed waterways reduced water velocity in the stream and resulted in a 28% reduction in peak flow at the catchment outlet for the 50-year storm event. Overall, the results indicate that the specific effect of land use measures on catchment discharge depends on their spatial distribution and on the size and timing of storm events.

Keyword
Extreme rainfall-runoff events, Hydrological model, Land use change, Road infrastructure, Runoff
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140635 (URN)10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.07.047 (DOI)000330491600079 ()2-s2.0-84882941606 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20140130

Available from: 2014-01-30 Created: 2014-01-30 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. A method for mapping flood hazard along roads
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A method for mapping flood hazard along roads
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2014 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 133, 69-77 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A method was developed for estimating and mapping flood hazard probability along roads using road and catchment characteristics as physical catchment descriptors (PCDs). The method uses a Geographic Information System (GIS) to derive candidate PCDs and then identifies those PCDs that significantly predict road flooding using a statistical modelling approach. The method thus allows flood hazards to be estimated and also provides insights into the relative roles of landscape characteristics in determining road-related flood hazards. The method was applied to an area in western Sweden where severe road flooding had occurred during an intense rain event as a case study to demonstrate its utility. The results suggest that for this case study area three categories of PCDs are useful for prediction of critical spots prone to flooding along roads: i) topography, ii) soil type, and iii) land use. The main drivers among the PCDs considered were a topographical wetness index, road density in the catchment, soil properties in the catchment (mainly the amount of gravel substrate) and local channel slope at the site of a road-stream intersection. These can be proposed as strong indicators for predicting the flood probability in ungauged river basins in this region, but some care is needed in generalising the case study results other potential factors are also likely to influence the flood hazard probability. Overall, the method proposed represents a straightforward and consistent way to estimate flooding hazards to inform both the planning of future roadways and the maintenance of existing roadways.

Keyword
Physical catchment descriptors (PCDs), GIS, PCA, PLS, Probability of flood hazard
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140636 (URN)10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.11.032 (DOI)000331341300009 ()2-s2.0-84890829473 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 201400130

Available from: 2014-01-30 Created: 2014-01-30 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
5. On the utilization of hydrological modelling for road drainage design under climate and land use change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the utilization of hydrological modelling for road drainage design under climate and land use change
Show others...
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.

Keyword
Clear-cutting, Extreme storm events, Runoff
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140638 (URN)10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.12.114 (DOI)000331924200012 ()2-s2.0-84893067097 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 201400130

Available from: 2014-01-30 Created: 2014-01-30 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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