Seasonal Signals Observed in Non-Contact Long-Term Road Texture Measurements

Vikki Edmondson*, James Martin, Owen Ardill, Michael Lim, Malal Kane, John Woodward

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Texture is required on road pavements for safe vehicle braking and manoeuvres. This paper provides a unique analysis of long-term texture obtained using traffic speed condition survey (TRACS) data from 14 sites, located along a north to south transect spanning the longest highway in the UK. A total of 19 years of sensor measured texture depth (SMTD) data have been analyzed using spatial filtering techniques and compared with meteorological and traffic datasets. The results for hot rolled asphalt (HRA) surfaces reveal that changes to SMTD follow a linearly increasing trend with time. The “rate of change” is influenced by the order of magnitude of annual average daily traffic (AADT), when factored for the percentage of heavy goods vehicles. This linear trend is disrupted by environmental parameters, such as rainfall events and seasonal conditioning. In the summer, this signal is evident as a transient peak in the “rate of change” of texture greater than 0.04 mm, and in the winter as a reduction. The transient changes in texture corresponded to above average rainfall occurring in the week prior to SMTD measurement. The signal observed demonstrates an inverse pattern to the classically understood seasonal variation of skid resistance in the UK, where values are low in the summer and high in the winter. The findings demonstrate for the first time that texture measurements experience a seasonal signal, and provide compelling evidence pointing toward surface processes (such as polishing and the wetting and drying of surface contaminants) causing changes to texture that are affecting seasonal variation in skid resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number735
Pages (from-to)e735
Number of pages17
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2021


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