The Science behind Scour at Bridge Foundations: A Review

Foundation scour is among the main causes of bridge collapse worldwide, resulting in significant direct and indirect losses. A vast amount of research has been carried out during the last decades on the physics and modelling of this phenomenon. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to provide an up-to-date, comprehensive, and holistic literature review of the problem of scour at bridge foundations, with a focus on the following topics: (i) sediment particle motion; (ii) physical modelling and controlling dimensionless scour parameters; (iii) scour estimates encompassing empirical models, numerical frameworks, data-driven methods, and non-deterministic approaches; (iv) bridge scour monitoring including successful examples of case studies; (v) current approach for assessment and design of bridges against scour; and, (vi) research needs and future avenues.

How to cite: Pizarro, A.; Manfreda, S.; Tubaldi, E., The Science behind Scour at Bridge Foundations: A Review. Water, 12, 374, (doi: 10.3390/w12020374) 2020. [pdf]

The Theoretically Derived Probability Distribution of Scour

Based on recent contributions regarding the treatment of unsteady hydraulic conditions in the state-of-the-art scour literature, theoretically derived probability distribution of bridge scour is introduced. The model has been derived assuming a rectangular hydrograph shape with a given duration, and a random flood peak, following a Gumbel distribution. A model extension for a more complex flood event has also been presented, assuming a synthetic exponential hydrograph shape. The mathematical formulation can be extended to any flood-peak probability distribution. The aim of the paper is to move forward the current approaches adopted for the bridge design, by coupling hydrological, hydraulic, and erosional models, in a mathematical closed form. An example of the application of the proposed distribution has been included with the aim to provide a guidance for the parameters estimation.

How to cite: Manfreda S., O. Link, A. Pizarro, The Theoretically Derived Probability Distribution of Scour, Water, 10, 1520, 2018. [pdf]