Scour Measuring and Monitoring Equipment for Bridges

by Peter F. Lagasse, Resource Consultants Inc, Fort Collins, United States,
Carl F. Nordin, Resource Consultants Inc, Fort Collins, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The National Cooperative Highway Research program (NCHRP), through the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academy of Sciences, is currently sponsoring a research effort to develop, test and evaluate instrumentation that could be both technically and economically feasible for use in measuring maximum depth of scour at bridge piers and abutments. The lack of field data on bridge scour is a result of difficulties in monitoring scour during the adverse conditions experienced during flood flows. As a consequence, researchers investigating bridge scour have generally relied on laboratory data to develop analytical techniques for predicting scour. Development of a reliable scour monitoring device would support efforts to acquire field data on scour, and could lead to development of early warning systems for impending bridge failure. This paper reports the results, to date, of identification, evaluation, and laboratory testing of a variety of devices for bridge scour measurement and monitoring. Devices considered feasible for scour measurement are grouped into four broad categories; sonar, sounding rods, buried (driven) rods, and other buried devices. The advantages and disadvantages of devices in each category are discussed and results of initial laboratory testing of selected devices from each category are summarized.

Subject Headings: Scour | Bridge tests | Laboratory tests | Rods | Highway bridges | Bridge abutments | Piers

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