Effect of a Noise Wall on Snow Accumulation and Air Quality, 1985

(1985) Effect of a Noise Wall on Snow Accumulation and Air Quality, 1985. Transportation, Department of


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A noise wall was investigated to assess its effect on snow accumulation and air quality. Wind tunnel studies were undertaken to evaluate (a) possible snow accumulations and (b) the dispersion of particulate concentrations (dust, smoke, and lead particles) and carbon monoxide. Full-scale monitoring of particulate concentrations and carbon monoxide was performed both before and after the noise wall was constructed. The wind tunnel experiments for snow accumulation were conducted on a model wall located in a flat, unobstructed area. A separated flow zone existed upwind of the wall and snow immediately began to accumulate over most of the separated zone. Having the noise wall in an aerodynamically rough area, such as in an urban area as this one was, substantially decreased the amount of snow collected, compared with in the wind tunnel studies, because of turbulence reducing the separation zone. The snow accumulation has not been significantly greater with the noise wall in place than it was before construction and has proven to be of no concern to date. Monitoring for particulate concentrations has shown that the noise wall has had a beneficial effect because the amount of material collected was reduced. With the noise wall in place, monitoring for carbon monoxide has indicated that (a) for equivalent emissions under conditions of high atmospheric stability and low wind speeds, the carbon monoxide levels would be lower; and (b) under conditions of low atmospheric stability and high wind speeds, the carbon monoxide levels would be higher than expected without the wall in place.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Air pollution, Carbon monoxide, Noise barriers, Particulates, Snow, Wind tunnels
Subjects: Transportation
Transportation > Bridges and tunnels
Transportation > Roads and highways
Transportation > Research
Transportation > Environment
Transportation > Environment > Weather and climate
ID Code: 22165
Deposited By: Iowa DOT Library
Deposited On: 24 May 2016 14:53
Last Modified: 24 May 2016 14:53
URI: https://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/22165