Date of Award

12-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Putman, Bradley J

Committee Member

Kaye , Nigel B

Committee Member

Klotz , Leidy E

Abstract

Effects from an Urban Heat Island (UHI) can be detrimental to the world as a whole. This study examines a collection of permeable and conventional pavements in South Carolina to determine how they relate to near surface air temperatures, which is an indicator of the UHI impact of an area. Three locations were used, each with a different selection of pavement type. Permeable and conventional forms of both asphalt and concrete were tested, as were some open graded friction course samples. Air temperatures were measured and recorded from the pavement surface up to an elevation of 60-in.
Multiple days of testing were conducted at each site which covered thirteen different pavement types. The temperatures at the hottest and coolest times of each day were extracted and statistically analyzed. Two surface temperature gradients were found for the pavements by averaging all the temperature values recorded from the pavement surface to the 6-in elevation and to the 1-in elevation. The pavements were compared individually to each other and were also grouped as either conventional or porous and then compared.
A statistically significant difference existed between both surface temperature gradients (up to a 6-in elevation and a 1-in elevation) at the coolest time of the day. The porous pavement group had a higher average gradient than the conventional pavement group indicating that porous pavements released the stored energy in them faster than the conventional pavements, allowing for less buildup of solar energy in the material. Permeable pavements release their stored solar energy, heat, more efficiently than conventional pavements, especially during cooler times of the day, allowing for an environment more like a rural or natural setting to exist in an urban area. This leads to cooler pavement temperatures, and a potentially smaller impact of the pavement on the area's UHI, thus lowering the impact of the built-up materials on the local environment, mitigating human health, ecological health, and economic impact for a community.

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