Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2013

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In


First Advisor

Bettis, E. A., III

First Committee Member

Weirich, Frank H.

Second Committee Member

Ward, Adam S.


The expansion of urban and suburban areas is a world-wide phenomena. One product of this development is a dramatic increase in impermeable surfaces and a consequent increase in stormwater runoff. Bioretention cells are one best management practice frequently used to mitigate the environmental impacts of urban stormwater runoff. To ensure that a bioretention cell will continue to perform adequately in the long term, it is imperative that the environmental conditions it will experience and their effect on its performance through time are considered during its design. Although bioretention cells are frequently used for stormwater management, very few quantitative data exist on how they perform through time and in varied physical environments. In regions with seasonal freeze-thaw cycles, it is important to understand the effects of freeze-thaw cycles on the infiltration rate of bioretention cell soil mixtures so that the integrity of the design will not be compromised by seasonal change.

This project uses laboratory tests to investigate the effects of freeze-thaw cycles and sediment input on the infiltration capacity of three different bioretention cell soil mixtures. These results will provide an analog for long-term changes in bioretention cell infiltration rates due to freeze-thaw cycles, providing critical data on which soil mixture would be best implemented in geographic regions susceptible to freeze-thaw activity. Furthermore these results will inform design standards for bioretention cells to ensure their long-term performance.


Best Management Practices, Bioretention Soils, Bioretention Systems, Freeze-Thaw Cycles, Infiltration Rates


xi, 114 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 112-114).


Copyright 2013 Vanessa Baratta

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Geology Commons