Thornthwaite Moisture Index Modeling to Estimate the Implication of Climate Change on Pavement Deterioration

Alireza Zareie, Shohel Amin, Luis Amador

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objectives of this study are to simulate the Thornthwaite moisture index (TMI) for zones within the Atlantic provinces of Canada (APC) during three 30-year periods in the 21st century and to estimate the interactive effect of TMI and simulated freight traffic loads on the deterioration of pavement structure during the same period. Regional Highways 1, 2, 7, 15, 16, 102, and 104 connecting the APC are considered as the case study. Integration of spatial input-output and transportation models simulates freight movements on the selected regional highways during the period of 2012–2100. TMI is estimated using downscaled average monthly precipitation and temperature at 34 stations within the APC. Simulated traffic loads and TMI are applied to mechanistic modeling of roughness progression on the pavement structure. The findings of this study show that an increase in TMI can cause 11–68% increase of roughness progress rate on pavement structure.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering Part A: Systems
Issue number4
Early online date13 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Pavement performance modeling
  • Thornthwaite moisture index
  • International roughness index
  • Annual average daily truck traffic
  • Equivalent single axle loads
  • Spatial input-output model
  • General circulation models
  • National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis data


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