- freely available
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1389; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9081389
- Reduction of skid resistance on roads and runways covered by volcanic ash
- Coverage of road and airfield markings by ash
- Reduction in visibility during initial ashfall and any ash re-suspension
- Blockage of engine air intake filters which can lead to engine failure.
1.2. Skid Resistance
1.2.1. Surface Macrotexture and Microtexture
- Macrotexture defines the amplitude of pavement surface deviations with wavelengths from 0.5 to 50 mm.
- Microtexture is the amplitude of pavement surface deviations from the plane with wavelengths less than or equal to 0.5 mm, measured at the micron scale .
1.2.2. Road Skid Resistance
1.2.3. Airfield Skid Resistance
1.2.4. Volcanic Ash and Skid Resistance
- Particle size and surface area
- Composition and degree of soluble components
- Hardness and vesicularity
- Angularity and abrasiveness
2.1. Sample Preparation
2.1.1. Volcanic Ash
2.1.2. Test Surfaces
2.1.3. Painted Road Markings
- 1× application (180–200 μm thick) without retroreflective glass beads
- 1× application (180–200 μm thick) with retroreflective glass beads
- 4× applications (720–800 μm thick) without retroreflective glass beads
- 4× applications (720–800 μm thick) with retroreflective glass beads.
2.2. Skid Resistance Testing
2.2.1. Surfaces Not Covered by Ash
2.2.2. Surfaces Covered by Ash
- A similar procedure as adopted by the NZTA  whereby five successive swings are recorded, which do not differ by more than 3 BPNs and the SRV calculated. Between each swing, ash which has been displaced by the pendulum movement is replenished with new ash of the same type (and re-wetted if applicable) to maintain a consistent depth (and wetness). This test method mimics to some degree the effect of vehicles driving during ash fall, with ash settling on a paved surface and filling any voids left by vehicle tyres before the next vehicle passes. A mean SRV is calculated by repeating the test on all four sides of each asphalt slab.Skid resistance was tested using 1, 3, 5 and 7 mm thick wet and dry samples on SMA, and 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 mm thick samples on airfield concrete. Limitations in the quantity of samples prevented testing at 9 mm thick on SMA, and limitations in the quantity of rhyolite (HAT-RHY) in particular meant that testing was only conducted at 1 and 5 mm thickness on SMA for this ash type.
- Eight successive swings of the pendulum are taken over each ash-covered test surface area but ash is not replenished between each swing. For each swing, the BPN is taken to be the SRV, allowing the change in skid resistance to be observed through analysis of the individual results. If the original surface has been wetted, further water is applied between each swing. To some degree, this method represents vehicle movement over an ash-covered surface in dry or wet conditions, where ashfall onto the road surface has ceased. A mean SRV is calculated for each successive swing by repeating the test on all four sides of each asphalt slab where possible.
2.3.1. Sand Patch Method
2.3.2. Image Analysis
- White paint was marked on the edge of the slabs in order to identify the same segment of the slab between each testing round.
- A Fuji Finepix S100 (FS) digital SLR camera (with settings: Manual, ISO 800, F6.4, 10-s timer) was mounted on a tripod directly above the asphalt slab.
- Halogen tripod worklights were used to illuminate the surface of the slab and all ambient light was blocked out using black sheeting before images were taken to keep lighting levels consistent between photos.
- Images were analysed for percentage coverage of ash by means of ‘training’ and ‘segmentation’ using ‘Ilastik’ and ‘Photoshop’ software.
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Consistent Depth
3.1.1. Ash Type and Wetness
3.1.2. Soluble Components
3.1.3. Ash Particle Size
3.1.4. Line-Painted Asphalt Surfaces
3.1.5. Asphalt Comparison
3.2. Inconsistent Depth
3.2.1. Ash Types and Wetness
3.2.2. Ash Particle Size
3.2.3. Soluble Components
3.2.4. Line-Painted Asphalt Surfaces
3.3. Surface Macro and Microtexture
3.3.1. Ash Displacement and Removal
3.3.2. Temporal Change of Skid Resistance on Bare Asphalt Surfaces
4.1. Key Findings
- Thin (~1 mm deep) layers of relatively coarse-grained ash, with ash type having little effect at this depth (average SRVs of 55–65).
- Thicker (~5 mm deep) layers of hard, non-vesiculated ash (average SRVs of 55–60).
- Ash of low crystallinity or containing a high degree of soluble components (average SRVs ~5 lower than for ash that has undergone substantial leaching).
- Line-painted surfaces that are either dry or wet but covered by thin layers of ash, particularly when paint does not incorporate retroreflective glass beads (average SRVs of ~55).
- There is little difference in skid resistance between bare airfield surfaces and those covered by ~1 mm of ash.
- Low crystalline ash containing high soluble components may result in SRVs of up to 20 less than non-dosed samples, particularly if the ash is thicker (~7–9 mm depth).
- Ash is more readily displaced on smoother airfield concrete than road asphalt causing SRVs to recover to ‘typical non-contaminated’ values at a faster rate with consistent traffic flow.
4.2. Recommendations for Road Safety
- During initial ash fall, vehicle speed (or advisory speed) should immediately be reduced to levels below those advised for driving in very wet conditions on that road, whether the surface is wet or dry. Wet ash is not necessarily more slippery than dry ash, at least initially.
- Fresh ash contains more soluble components, which results in lower skid resistance values than for leached ash. Therefore, it is important to advise motorists promptly of any restrictions.
- Particular caution should be taken on dry surfaces that become covered by coarse-grained ash as skid resistance will reduce substantially from what occurs on dry non-contaminated surfaces. The slipperiness of dry surfaces with such contamination may not be expected by motorists (skid resistance values will be similar as for wet fresh ash and slightly less than for wet non-contaminated conditions).
- Road markings may be hidden from view, impacting road safety through lack of visual and audio guidance of road features. Areas of road that are line-painted and covered in thin ash are especially slippery. Motorcyclists and cyclists in particular should take extreme care.
4.3. Airport Safety
4.4. Recommendations for Cleaning
- Brushing alone will not restore surfaces to their original condition in terms of skid resistance. Following simple brushing practices on asphalt roads, the macrotexture depth may be around one third less than the original depth and ~40% ash coverage may occur on the surface.
- If surfaces are dry and contaminated with dry ash, air blasting combined with suction and capture of loosened ash, is an effective way to remove ash from macrotextural pores. Minor quantities of ash may remain at the microtextural level although this is deemed too low to substantially affect skid resistance.
- If surfaces are wet, a combination of water spraying and brushing and/or air blasting (with suction and ash capture) is an effective way to remove most ash and restore surface skid resistance. However, large quantities of water are required and some ash will remain in the asphalt pore spaces, especially if low-pressure water is used. Care should be taken if using water for ash removal due to the potential for blockage of some drainage systems.
Conflicts of Interest
|Ruapehu Crater Lake (100% Strength)||White Island Crater Lake (20% Strength)|
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|Volcano and Country||Year||Ash Thickness (mm)||Observations Related to Skid Resistance|
|St Helens, United States of America||1980||17||Ash became slick when wet [17,18,19]|
|Hudson, Chile||1991||not specified||Traction problems from ash on road [7,20]|
|Tavurvur and Vulcan, Papua New Guinea||1994||1000||Vehicles sunk and stuck in deep ash, although passable if hardened [21,22,23]|
|Sakurajima, Japan||1995||>1||Roads slippery [22,24]|
|Ruapehu, New Zealand||1995–1996||“thin”||Slippery sludge from ash-rain mix (roads closed) [22,25]|
|Soufrière Hills, United Kingdom (overseas territory)||1997||not specified||Rain can turn particles into a slurry of slippery mud |
|Etna, Italy||2002||2–20||Traction problems, although damp and compacted ash easier to drive on |
|Reventador, Ecuador||2002||2–5||Vehicles banned due to slippery surfaces [22,27]|
|Chaitén, Chile||2008||not specified||Reduced traction caused dam access problems [28,29]|
|Merapi, Indonesia||2010||not specified||Slippery roads caused accidents and increased journey times |
|Pacaya, Guatemala||2010||20–30||Slippery roads with coarse ash |
|Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, Chile||2011||>100||2WDs experienced traction problems (wet conditions) |
|Shinmoedake, Japan||2011||not specified||Ladders very slippery |
|Kelud, Indonesia||2014||1–100||Roads slippery with increased accident rate |
|Sinabung, Indonesia||2014||80–100||Road travel impracticable in wet muddy ash |
|Type of Site||Minimum Recommended Skid Resistance Value||Corresponding Coefficient of Friction|
|Difficult sites such as:||65.0||0.74|
|Motorways and heavily trafficked roads in urban areas (with >2000 vehicles per day)||55.0||0.60|
|All other sites||45.0||0.47|
|Type of Site||Typical Skid Resistance Value||Corresponding Coefficient of Friction|
|Dry, bare surface||69.5–82.5||0.8–1.0|
|Wet, bare surface||62.4–69.5||0.7–0.8|
|Loose snow/slush||20.6–47.1 (higher value when tyres in contact with pavement)||0.20–0.50|
|Loose snow on black ice||15.7–25.4||0.15–0.25|
|Wet black ice||5.4–10.6||0.05–0.10|
|65 km h−1||95 km h−1|
|Minimum||Maintenance Planning||New Design/Construction||Minimum||Maintenance Planning||New Design/Construction|
|Runway Friction Tester (Dynatest Consulting, Inc.)||0.50||0.60||0.82||0.41||0.54||0.72|
|Skiddometer (Airport Equipment Co.)||0.50||0.60||0.82||0.34||0.47||0.74|
|Airport Surface Friction Tester||0.50||0.60||0.82||0.34||0.47||0.74|
|Safegate Friction Tester (Airport Technology USA)||0.50||0.60||0.82||0.34||0.47||0.74|
|Griptester Friction Meter (Findlay, Irvine, Ltd.)||0.43||0.53||0.74||0.24||0.36||0.64|
|Tatra Friction Tester||0.48||0.57||0.76||0.42||0.52||0.67|
|Norsemeter RUNAR (operated at fixed 16% slip)||0.45||0.52||0.69||0.32||0.42||0.63|
|Ash Source||Ash Type||Sieve Size (μm)||Soluble Components Added||Sample ID|
|Lyttelton Volcanic Group||Hard Basalt||1000||No||LYT-BAS1|
|Punatekahi cone, Taupo||Scoriaceous Basalt||1000||No||PUN-BAS1|
|Hatepe ash, Taupo||Pumiceous Rhyolite||1000||No||HAT-RHY|
|Pupuke, Auckland Volcanic Field||Scoriaceous Basalt||1000||No||PUP-BAS1|
|Asphalt Concrete Slab Condition||Mean Macrotexture Depth (mm)||Ash Surface Coverage (%)|
|Bare, clean and new||1.37||0|
|Ashed, 10× BPT swings||-||81|
|Ashed, 10× BPT swings and brushed (10× strokes)||0.99||40|
|Cleaned with compressed air||1.29||<1|
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