Riprap Design by Modified Safety Factor Method

by Rodney Jay Wittler, Colorado State Univ, United States,
Steven R. Abt, Colorado State Univ, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The Safety Factor method for designing riprap is based upon straight forward physics combining rock properties and flow characteristics. M.A. Stevens developed the method by summing the moments acting on a rock in a flow field and defining the ratio of the righting moments to the turning moments as the safety factor. A fundamental force acting on the rock in the flow field had been neglected in the original analysis. The neglected force is the friction force between the critical rock and the rock upstream rock resting on it. The objective of this paper is to reanalyze the moments acting on a rock in a flow field including this previously ignored force. The new method is compared to data generated through a two phase study of riprap on overtopped embankments.

Subject Headings: Riprap | Safety | Equations of motion | Friction | Rock properties | Moment (mechanics) | Wave overtopping | Rivers and streams

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