Air temperature based climate zones for flexible pavement designs

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



© 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, London. Climate zones are regions with homogeneous climatic conditions. In mechanistic- empirical pavement design, climate is an important factor affecting pavement performance, so distress predictions are expected to be consistent across an identified geographic area. This study aims to develop climate zones specifically for flexible pavement design for the State of Michigan. In detail, annual mean air temperature, mean air temperature in hot months, and mean air temperature in cold months were used to identify climate zones. The critical threshold to determine a climate zone in this study was to keep the temperature within the zone less than 2.8°F (1.6°C), a change which results in a relative distress difference of about 10%. Nine climate zones were developed for Michigan taking into account both the air temperatures and pavement distresses. The developed climate zones are expected to be helpful for future flexible pavement designs in Michigan.

Publication Title

Functional Pavement Design - Proceedings of the 4th Chinese-European Workshop on Functional Pavement Design, CEW 2016