Compaction or removal of wet snow by traffic

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Journal titleHighway Research Board Special Report
Pages97103; # of pages: 7
Subjectsnow (snowfall); traffic; compaction; snow removal; skid resistance
AbstractObservations were made of the free-water content of snow on roads and its behavior under traffic. A Tapley decelerometer was used to measure the skid resistance of the snow-covered roads. It was found that snow having a free- water content of less than 15 percent was compacted by traffic and formed a slippery surface on which a deceleration value of 0.30 was measured. Snow with a free- water content between 15 and 30 percent was usually not compacted but remained on the road in a soft, loose state and gave deceleration values of 0.35 to 0.42. The exact behavior depended on other variables such as depth, shape, and size of the grains. Snow with a free-water content of 30 percent was removed by traffic. Deceleration values between 0.40 and 0.50 were measured on this surface, and a value of 0.60 was measured on the bare, wet pavement. The observations confirm that chemicals need to be applied only in an amount sufficient to produce 30 percent melting if a decrease of the skid resistance can be tolerated. A melting of 15 percent would prevent the snow from being compacted into an ice crust but usually would not cause it to be removed by traffic, and thus plowing would be required.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number11796
NPARC number20374370
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Record identifier94f40dee-ab88-436e-9e9e-432f3817367e
Record created2012-07-23
Record modified2016-05-09
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