Development of Asphalt Pavement Temperature Prediction Models for the Climatic Conditions of Ghana

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Asphalt pavement temperature finds application in several areas of pavement engineering including pavement structural evaluation and design, asphalt mixture design, asphalt material aging characterisation, and asphalt binder grade selection. Predictive models may be used in the estimation of asphalt pavement temperature when necessary, however, such models tend to have limited transferability and applicability to other regions where the environmental conditions are significantly different from those under which the models were developed. To avoid the risk of using foreign-developed models in estimating the temperature of asphalt pavements in Ghana using local data, this research set out to develop asphalt pavement temperature prediction models applicable to the climatic conditions of the country. Two locations in the country, one within the Savannah climatic zone and the other within the Forest climatic zone, were used for the study. Mid-depth and surface asphalt pavement temperatures, along with climatic data, were collected over a 12-month period (May 2022 to April 2023) at the two study locations. The dataset was then used to develop separate asphalt pavement temperature prediction models applicable to each climatic zones. Additional pavement temperature and climatic data were also collected on separate roads within the corresponding climatic zones for model validation. When tested against some high-rated foreign-developed models, using local environmental data inputs, the locally-developed models predicted asphalt pavement temperatures that were much superior in accuracy (R2 ≥ 0.919, RMSE < 2.8 ºC) to those predicted using the best-performing foreign-based model (R2 ≤ 0.905, RMSE ≥ 3.2 ºC). The local models are, therefore, recommended for predicting mid-depth asphalt pavement temperatures in the Forest and Savannah zones of Ghana for pavement engineering purposes.