Scour at Culvert Outlets: Considerations Present and Future

by Steven R. Abt, (F.ASCE),
Phillip L. Thompson, (M.ASCE),



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water

Abstract: One of the major considerations in the design and rehabilitation of the national transportation system is the conveyance of tributary drainage through constructed embankments. As drainage waters is conveyed through the embankment, flow discharges from the culvert outlet and impinges upon the material beneath the outlet. The impinging jet entrains the material particles and transports those particles downstream of the impact area. The jet impact area is transformed into an energy dissipator and a hole is created at the outlet. The eventual result of the scour and erosive process, if left unchecked, is the degradation of the adjacent embankment, degradation of the area beneath an adjacent to the culvert outlet and aggradation of the channel, land areas, or properties downstream of the outlet.

Subject Headings: Culverts | Drainage | Water discharge | Particles | Rivers and streams | Scour | Chemical degradation | Hydraulic design

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