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De-icing salt and the roadside environment : Air-borne exposure, damage to Norway spruce and system monitoring

by Blomqvist, Göran

Abstract (Summary)
After decades of investigation, we still have to deal withthe problem of environmental effects of the use of de-icingsalt on roads. Lacking useful indicators of the system, westill do not know the environmental utility of ameliorativemeasures taken. The thesis aims ati) describing the system of de-icing practices and theirenvironmental effects with special reference to the exposure ofthe roadside environment to air-borne salt and damage to Norwayspruce seedlings and ii) at proposing indicators for afollow-up system. By collecting bulk deposition and relatingthe deposition pattern to factors concerning wind androad-maintenance characteristics, the influence of thesefactors on air-borne exposure is investigated. By exposingNorway spruce (Picea abies(L.) Karst.) seedlings to roadsideconditions the influence ofsalt exposure on the degree ofdamage is investigated. Based on a comparison of severalsystems of monitoring, improvements are suggested by proposingnew indicators for salt use and its environmental effects.A large part of the salt that is applied on the road surfacewill be transported by air and deposited on the ground in theroadside. While the vast majority of the salt will be depositedwithin some tens of metres of the road, some may still be windtransported several hundred metres away. The wind directionplays an important role for the deposition already at adistance of some ten metres from the road. Wind speedinfluences the distance to which the salt is transported.Chloride concentration in unwashed needles collected after thesalting season is positively related to the bulk deposition ofCl during the exposure. The degree of damage can be describedby a sigmoid curve of response to the Cl concentration inneedles. Improvements to the follow-up system are suggested byproposing indicators of the driving forces, pressures, states,impacts and possible responses as regards the undesired impactson water resources, vegetation and the roadside scenery as asocietal asset.Keywords:road, de-icing salt, air-borne, environmentalimpact, vegetation damage, Norway spruce, seedling, follow-up,monitoring, indicator
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:road; de-icing salt; air-borne; environmental impact; vegetation damage; Norway spruce; seedling; follow-up; monitoring; indicator

ISBN:91-7283-081-6

Date of Publication:01/01/2001

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