Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2021

Thesis Advisor(s)

Amvrossios Bagtzoglou

Honors Major

Environmental Engineering


Environmental Engineering


Permeable pavements are a type of low impact development (LID) that reduces runoff by increasing the permeability of developed surfaces. Less runoff helps protect the surrounding ecosystems from erosion and pollution. Without pools of accumulating runoff, the potential for the development of ice on roads and parking lots is also decreased. However, sufficient research on the movement of water and the ions dissolved in it through the permeable pavement system has not been completed. In this study, geophysical equipment was used to observe how moisture, measured as volumetric water content (VWC), and ions, approximated by electrical conductivity, pass through constructed permeable pavement plots. An existing numerical model was also applied to the specific site conditions of this study in order to compare the moisture content measurements to what would be expected based on known behaviors of unsaturated media. The general pattern of moisture content over time as a result of precipitation events and measured by sensors placed in a bare soil plot agreed well with modeled results. However, the sensors placed in the permeable pavement plots did not show any response to precipitation events, suggesting an ability of the permeable pad and gravel below to buffer the infiltration of moisture into the soil after precipitation events.