Materials

September 25, 2008

Albedo of Urban Infrastructure

Objective

Determine correlations between albedo (solar reflectance), pavement material type and age for roads, parking lots and connector streets located with in an urban area.

Methodology

Measure albedo at over 40 locations around the City of Tempe, Arizona.  Collect information about each surface (traffic volumes, age, material type).  Analyze results to determine whether correlation and trends exist.

Significance

Albedo is regarded as the most important material property that contributes to urban heat island formation. The lower the albedo the more solar energy is observed and the hotter the resulting surface temperature.  Having accurate and location specific data is important for modeling urban and region climate. Current models use default values for asphalt pavements. This study contributes to the body of knowledge around albedo of pavement materials and will serve as a reference for future urban climate and other pavement related research.

Duration

Summer 2007

Resulting Publication

Carlson, J., Subramanian, V., Golden, J., Kaloush, K. Dynamic solar absorption rates of in service asphaltic pavement surfaces. Journal of Transportation Materials. (submitted)