An Approach to Terrain Classification to Improve Road Condition Forecasts of Maintenance Decision Support Systems

Recently introduced maintenance decision support systems for winter maintenance operations incorporate the outcome of planned plowing and salting operations on meteorological forecasts of highway snow cover to provide a route-specific, tactical plan for storm events. The forecast is limited by meteorological input at the scale of roadway weather information system (RWIS) stations that does not address local variance due to drifting snow. This study investigates the influence of roadside terrain on snow accumulation and proposes a terrain classification approach for predicting local differences. This study uses surface friction measurements to estimate snow cover continuously along maintenance routes at repeated intervals through winter storms. Relationships between friction, roadside terrain features, and meteorological conditions are demonstrated using mapping, spatial correlation, and frequency domain analyses. This approach to mapping snow cover and classifying terrain can be applied to more accurately interpolate snow cover information between RWIS stations, and predict differences in demand for maintenance equipment or requirements for road salt between RWIS stations.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 337-350
  • Monograph Title: Surface Transportation Weather and Snow Removal and Ice Control Technology: Fourth National Conference on Surface Transportation Weather and Seventh International Symposium on Snow Removal and Ice Control Technology, June 16-19, 2008, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01103915
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Snow08-039
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jun 26 2008 7:13PM