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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 4, Number 3, September 2012 , pages 219-227

Fractal evaluation of the level of alligator cracking in pavements
Luis E. Vallejo*

    Pavement management systems require systematic monitoring of pavement surfaces to determine preventive and corrective maintenance. The process involves the accumulation of large amounts of visual data, typically obtained from site visitation. The pavement surface condition is then correlated to a pavement distress index that is based on a scoring system previously established by state or federal agencies. The scoring system determines if the pavement section requires maintenance, overlay or reconstruction. One of the surface distresses forming part of the overall pavement distress index is the Alligator Crack Index (AC Index). The AC Index involves the visual evaluation of the crack severity of a section of a pavement as being low, medium, or high. This evaluation is then integrated into a formula in order to obtain the AC Index. In this study a quantification of the visual evaluation of the severity of alligator cracking is carried out using photographs and the fractal dimension concept from fractal theory. Pavements with low levels of cracking were found to have a fractal dimension equal to 1.051. Pavements with moderate levels of cracking had a fractal dimension equal to 1.1754. Pavements with high degrees of cracking had a fractal dimension that varied between 1.5037 (high) and 1.7111 (very high). Pavements with a level of cracking equal to 1.8976 represented pavements that disintegrated and developed potholes. Thus, the visual evaluation of the state of cracking of a pavement (the AC Index) could be enhanced with the use of the fractal dimension concept from fractal theory.
Key Words
    asphalt pavement, cracking, fractal analysis, fractal dimension.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 949 Benedum Hall, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA 15261 USA

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