Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Civil/Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering
Fermin Ruiz Crespo - Alabama A&M University
Temperature and precipitation are the two weather parameters which strongly affect highway pavement performance. Uncertainty in the values of these parameters due to climate change is a deep concern among the engineers. The performance of highway pavements depends on the material properties which are affected by the fluctuations in temperature and precipitation. The review of literature indicates that there is a need to quantify the impact of these climate change parameters on pavement performance for different climate change scenarios. The aim of this research is to determine the reliability of highway pavements under different climate change scenarios. The reliability against fatigue cracking for different climate change scenarios has been determined.
To investigate the impact of climate change on highway pavements, projected climate data from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) have been collected. The data represent 1/8th downscaled biased corrected (BCSD) projection data for four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP 2.6, 4.5, 6.0, 8.5 W/m2) representing four difference scenarios of climate change. Mean and standard deviation of projected temperature and precipitation have been calculated for the next 50 years. A Matlab program has been developed which takes the projected climate data and calculates the probability of failure of the pavement following the pavement design procedure. The reliability of the pavement is plotted against the time to determine when the pavement reaches terminal reliability. The reliability curves for two pathways RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5 are compared to see the impact of climate change under two extreme scenarios (best versus worst). The time to failure under the two conditions has also been calculated.
The results indicate that RCP 8.5 has greater impact on highway pavement performance than 2.6. Terminal reliability for RCP 8.5 is reached earlier than for RCP 2.6, indicating impact of climate change based on the chosen pathway. For a typical highway pavement, terminal reliability is reached 5-10 years earlier for RCP 8.5 than for RCP 2.6. It is also observed that reliability under RCP 8.5 is at least 10% lower than that under RCP 2.6 during the life of a typical pavement.
It is concluded that, highway pavement performance is affected by climate change. The extent of the impact depends on the climate change scenarios, the climatic region and the materials used in construction. The maintenance of highway pavements needs to be performed more frequently for RCP 8.5 condition than 2.6. It is recommended that pavement design should include the effect of climate and the maintenance interval should be based on the projected climate data. The Matlab code developed in this research can be used to determine the impact of climate change on the fatigue performance of highway pavements.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This study was supported, in part, by a grant from NSF HBCU-UP award number HRD-1436572.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sudip Bhattacharjee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: The student(Fermin Ruiz Crespo) did all the research with the help of his civil engineering professor(Dr. Sudip Bhattacharjee). The teacher explained and showed to the student how to do the research. Then, Mr. Ruiz Crespo performed and did it and Dr. Bhattacharjee checked the results