Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2017

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Muste, Marian

Second Advisor

Constantinescu, George

First Committee Member

Muste, Marian

Second Committee Member

Constantinescu, George

Third Committee Member

Enchinger, William

Fourth Committee Member

Markfort, Corey


Drifting and blowing snow is an extremely problematic and perilous aspect of roadway travel in four-season areas subject to intense snowfalls and winds during the winter season. Snow drift happens when an adequate amount of loose snow is available on the ground and the wind velocity magnitude and temperature surpass the critical values. In order to prevent the snow from reaching the road, which leads to decreased visibility and increased accidents, snow fences are designed and deployed on the road. Their orientation is based on the dominant wind direction.

In this present study, the objective for exploration is to prove and test a set of new technologies that efficiently support the design and evaluation of snow fence performance by taking advantage of the new non-intrusive measurement technologies (image-based method). Several preliminary experimental set-ups were designed and implemented onsite to develop the measurement protocol to use for snowfall and snowdrift quantification. The current measurement protocols are outmoded, higher cost, and display measurement uncertainty. The majority of the current measurement required installing intrusive instruments, therefore, it poses a significant risk for the safety of personnel.

Multiple non-intrusive measuring techniques are introduced and comprised in the present research with the discussion of each individual measurement’s fundamentals physics (see Chapter 3), and the application purposes for tracking both snowfall and snowdrift velocity were developed and described in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 and 6 describe the actual measurement outcomes observed from various snow events in order to test these image-based approaches compared with the physical measurement to validate the methodology used to estimate the snow velocity and map the snow deposition.


xiv, 156 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 151-156).


Copyright © 2017 Heng-Wei Tsai