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Sustainable Approaches for Highway Runoff Management During Construction and Operation

Mehrdad Ghorbani Mooselu of the Faculty of Engineering and Science at the University of Agder has submitted his thesis entitled «Sustainable Approaches for Highway Runoff Management During Construction and Operation» and will defend the thesis for the PhD-degree Tuesday 24 May 2022. (Photo: Private)

It is hoped the knowledge generated by this project will help decision-makers with management strategies and support UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The proposed approaches directly contribute to managing highway runoff and achieving SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and especially target 6.3 (water quality).

Mehrdad Ghorbani Mooselu

PhD Candidate

You may follow the disputation online. Link for registration as an online spectator at the bottom of this page.

 

Mehrdad Ghorbani Mooselu of the Faculty of Engineering and Science at the University of Agder has submitted his thesis entitled «Sustainable Approaches for Highway Runoff Management During Construction and Operation» and will defend the thesis for the PhD-degree Tuesday 24 May 2022. 

He has followed the PhD-programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science at the University of Agder with specialisation in Engineering Sciences, scientific field Civil and Structural Engineering. The doctoral work are a part of the MEERC project (more efficient and environmentally-friendly road construction) funded by The Research Council of Norway.

Summary of the thesis by Mehrdad Ghorbani Mooselu:

Sustainable Approaches for Highway Runoff Management

Urban development necessitates building new infrastructure, such as new highways. These constructions impose environmental damages and pollution loads on surrounding ecosystems.

This PhD project focuses on the effects of road runoff on water quality and seeks sustainable measures to manage highway runoff during construction and operation.

Field observation data from a construction site

First, the vulnerability of water quality to road construction was analyzed over time and space using field observation data from a construction site in the project for a new 22 km highway, E18 Arendal-Tvedestrand, in southern Norway.

Also, the effect of each construction activity on water quality was analyzed.

Analysis of the field monitoring data indicates that the type and size of construction activities directly affect water quality. In this regard, blasting, area cleaning, and construction of water management measures have the highest impact on surface water quality during road construction.

Decision-makers can apply the data provided by the water quality monitoring network for reliable assessments of water quality and to support protecting policies.

Optimizing the water quality monitoring network

In the next stage of this PhD project, two different approaches, involving information theory and gamma test theory, were suggested to optimize the water quality monitoring network during road construction.

The results showed that the number of stations in the primary stations could be reduced while the value of generated information is constant.

Also, it is necessary to modify the monitoring network based on variations in construction activities.

Due to the importance of water quality monitoring and the lack of a comprehensive monitoring system on a regional scale and for longer stretches of road, remote sensing (RS) feasibility to provide supplementary data for ground-based observation was evaluated.

In this regard, the satellite data (i.e., Sentinel-2 Multi-Spectral Imager satellite imagery products) was applied to estimate turbidity and chlorophyll-a parameters in roadside water bodies. The suggested remote sensing techniques are able to estimate turbidity and chlorophyll-a with reliable accuracy and consistent with field observations, reflecting the spatiotemporal effects of road construction and operations on water quality.

Treatment of tunneling wastewater

Tunneling is a critical activity in road construction, which may generate several manufactured and natural water-borne pollutants for receiving water bodies.

The tunneling wastewater is generally known for high concentrations of suspended solids and particle-bound contaminants such as heavy metals. These particles reduce light penetration, can change both temperature and spawning conditions, reduce fish foods, and damage fish gill tissues.

Therefore in the last part of this Ph.D. project, the characterization, and treatment of tunneling wastewater were also investigated.

An efficient two-step treatment strategy (15 min sedimentation followed by chemical coagulation and 45 min sedimentation) was suggested for the treatment of tunneling wastewater.

Both natural (i.e., chitosan) and chemical coagulants were investigated for removing finer particles. The optimum coagulant dosages in the jar test exhibit high treatment efficiency (92-99%) for both turbidity and suspended solids, especially for particle removal in the range of 10-100 μm, which is hard to remove by sedimentation ponds and may pose serious threats to the aquatic ecosystem.

It is hoped the knowledge generated by this project will help decision-makers with management strategies and support UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The proposed approaches directly contribute to managing highway runoff and achieving SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and especially target 6.3 (water quality).

Disputation facts:

The trial lecture and the public defence will take place in Auditorium C2 040, Campus Grimstad, and online via the Zoom conferencing app - registration link below. 

Head of Department Paul Ragnar Svennevig, Department of Engineering Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Science, University of Agder, will chair the disputation.

The trial lecture Tuesday 24 May at 10:15 hours

Public defence Tuesday 24 May at 12:15 hours

 

Given topic for trial lecture«Overview of BMPs for road runoff management and effects on the aims of the WFD»

Thesis Title«Sustainable Approaches for Highway Runoff Management During Construction and Operation»

Search for the thesis in AURA - Agder University Research Archive, a digital archive of scientific papers, theses and dissertations from the academic staff and students at the University of Agder.

The thesis is available here:

https://uia.brage.unit.no/uia-xmlui/handle/11250/2994236 - or as pdf:

 

The CandidateMehrdad Ghorbani Mooselu (1987, Firoozabad, Iran) B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, Yasouj University, Iran (2010) MSc. in Environmental Engineering, Shiraz University, Iran (2013)

Opponents:

First opponent: Professor Rita Hilliges, University of Applied Science, Hochschule Augsburg, Germany

Second opponent: Associate Professor Kim Aleksander Haukeland Paus, NMBU - Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Associate Professor Svitlana Rogovchenko, Faculty of Engineering and Science, University of Agder,  is appointed as the administrator for the assessment committee.

Supervisors in the doctoral work were Professor Helge Liltved, UiA (main supervisor), and Senior Researcher, Dr. Philos Atle Hindar, NIVA and Strategic advisor environment Marianne Simonsen Bjørkenes, Nye Veier AS, Norway (co-supervisors)

What to do as an online audience member:

The disputation is open to the public, but to follow the trial lecture and the public defence digitally, transmitted via the Zoom conferencing app, you must register on this link:

https://uiano.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5Iud-yoqj0vE93bW6MzZnuqcwUlY-PKcPez

A Zoom-link will be returned to you. (Here are introductions for how to use Zoom: support.zoom.us if you cannot join by clicking on the link.)

We ask online audience members to join the virtual trial lecture at 10:05 at the earliest and the public defense at 12:05 at the earliest. After these times, you can leave and rejoin the meeting at any time. Further, we ask audience members to turn off their microphone and camera and keep them turned off throughout the event. You do this at the bottom left of the image when in Zoom. We recommend you use ‘Speaker view’. You select that at the top right corner of the video window when in Zoom.

Opponent ex auditorio:

The chair invites members of the public to pose questions ex auditorio in the introduction to the public defense. Deadline is during the break between the two opponents.The person asking questions should have read the thesis. The Contact Persons e-mail are available in the chat function during the Public Defense, and questions ex auditorio can be submitted to Emma Elisabeth Horneman on e-mail emma.e.horneman@uia.no