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Adaption of road drainage structures under climate and land use change

Bridging the gap between science and application

Participants: Dr Zahra Kalantari, Professor Lennart Folkeson, Professor Per-Erik Jansson, and Professor Bo Olofsson

Key words: Extreme weather conditions; climate change; infrastructure; risk assessment; road transportation system; adaptation; mitigation; operation; maintenance; surface drainage; sub-drainage.

Project period: 2009-2014

Funding: The Swedish Road Administration (Together with some other authorities, the Swedish Road Administration merged into the Swedish Transport Administration on 1 April 2010)

Project description

Climate change causes increased occurrence of high water flows and elevated water tables in many freshwater systems. This increases the stress on structures for road dewatering and drainage. Many culverts, ditches, etc have limited capacity. The stress will increase with increasing frequency of heavy storms and high water flows. The SRA has limited knowledge of the capacity of their draining structures. Maintenance of the structures and routines for their follow-up are insufficient. Floods may cause critical situations to road constructions. Changes in frost—thaw cycles can also add stress to drainage systems and road constructions. There is a great demand for securing a continuous function of the drainage systems. To this end, decision-makers will need a reinforced scientific knowledge base.

Aim: to produce a scientifically well-founded suggestion on a cost-efficient adaptation of road drainage and dewatering systems to climate change including more frequent floods.


Kalantari, Z. (2014) Road structures under climate and land use change: Bridging the gap between science and application. PhD Thesis, TRITA LWR PhD-2014:01, 31p.

Kalantari, Z. (2014) Vägkonstruktioner under klimatförändring: Vetenskap och praktik i samverkan (svensk sammanfattning av en doktorsavhandling) Trafikverket

Kalantari, Z., Briel, A., Lyon, S.W., Olofsson, B., Folkeson, L., 2014. On the utilization of hydrological modelling for road drainage design under climate and land use change. Science of The Total Environment 475, 97-103.

Kalantari, Z., Nickman, A., Lyon, S.W., Olofsson, B., Folkeson, L., 2014. A method for mapping flood hazard along roads. Journal of Environmental Management 133, 69-77.

Kalantari, Z., Lyon, S.W., Folkeson, L., French, H.K., Stolte, J., Jansson, P.-E., Sassner, M., 2014. Quantifying the hydrological impact of simulated changes in land use on peak discharge in a small catchment. Science of The Total Environment 466–467, 741-754.

Kalantari, Z. and Folkeson, L., 2013. ”Road Drainage in Sweden: Current Practice and Suggestions for Adaptation to Climate Change.” J. Infrastruct. Syst., 19(2), 147–156.

Kalantari, Z., 2011. Adaptation of Road Drainage Structures to Climate Change” TRITA LWR LIC 2061.

Kalantari, Z., Jansson, P.-E., Stolte, J., Sassner, M. 2011. Modelling high resolution discharge dynamics nearby road structure, using data from small catchment and 3 different models. ConferenceProceedings, IAHR Conference, 34rd Congress, Brisbane, Australia, 26 June-1 July 2011, 226-232.

Nickman A., Kalantari Z., Folkesson L., Gustafsson D., Jansson P., Method for prediction of flood risk distribution along roads considering physical catchment characteristics. Conference Proceeding, Floodrisk2012, Rotterdam 20-22 November 2012

Kalantari, Z., Sassner, M., Jansson, P.-E., French, H.K., ssessing hydrological impact of simulated land use measures on peak discharge and total runoff. Symposium Climate and land surface changes in hydrology Proceedings of IAHS-IAPSO-IASPEI Assembly, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2013 (IAHS Publ. RED BOOK, 2013).

Kalantari, Z, 2011. Svensk sammanfattning av licentiatavhandlingen: Klimatanpassning av vägavvattning och-dränering (in Swedish)

Daeminezhad, A., Kalantari, Z., 2011. GIS Method for Prediction of Flood Risk Distribution along Roads. Lars Erik Lundberg Scholarship Foundation

Kalantari, Z, 2012. Adaptation of road drainage structures to climate change, Lap Lambert Academic Publishing. ISBN10: 3659127957  


Environmental Management and Assessment research group, KTH; Environmental Physics research group, KTH; ClimRunoff project, Bioforsk, Norway; Exflood project, Norway; and Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University