Real-Time Data Collection of Scour at Bridges

by David S. Mueller, (M.ASCE), U.S. Geological Survey, Louisville, United States,
Mark N. Landers, (M.ASCE), U.S. Geological Survey, Louisville, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Fundamentals and Advancements in Hydraulic Measurements and Experimentation


The record flood on the Mississippi River during the summer of 1993 provided a rare opportunity to collect data on scour of the streambed at bridges and to test data collection equipment under extreme hydraulic conditions. Detailed bathymetric and hydraulic information were collected at two bridges crossing the Mississippi River during the rising limb, near the peak, and during the recession of the flood. Bathymetric data were collected using a digital echo sounder. Three-dimensional velocities were collected using Broadband Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (BB-ADCP) operating at 300 kilohertz (kHz), 600 kHz, and 1,200 kHz. Positioning of the data collected was measured using a range-azimuth tracking system and two global positioning systems (GPS). Although differential GPS was able to provide accurate positions and tracking information during approach- and exit-reach data collection, it was unable to maintain lock on a sufficient number of satellites when the survey vessel was under the bridge or near the piers. The range-azimuth tracking system was used to collect position and tracking information for detailed data collection near the bridge piers. These detailed data indicated local scour ranging from 3 to 8 meters and will permit a field-based evaluation of the ability of various numerical models to compute the hydraulics, depth, geometry, and time-dependent development of local scour.

Subject Headings: Data collection | Hydrologic data | Scour | Bridge tests | Global navigation satellite systems | Tracking | Floods | Hydraulic models | Mississippi River

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