Detailed Measurements of Scour at Bridges

by David S. Mueller,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, has recently developed equipment and techniques for collecting detailed bathymetric and hydraulic data needed to characterize and study the processes associated with scour at bridges. A cooperative study is underway to collect detailed data during floods. Detailed data were collected on the Mississippi River in 1993, on the Brazos River in 1994, on the Sacramento River in 1995, and on several small streams in Missouri in 1995. Bathymetric data were collected using a digital echo sounder. Broadband Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers were used to measure three-dimensional velocities. The locations of all data collected were obtained using either a range-azimuth tracking system or a global positioning system. All of the instruments performed well, within their limitations. A remote-control boat has proved useful for instrument deployment on small streams where a manned vessel cannot be used safely. Future developments will likely result in improved data accuracy, increased data coverage, and more efficient data collection procedures.

Subject Headings: Data collection | Scour | Bridges | Rivers and streams | Geological surveys | Bathymetry | Hydrologic data | Hydraulics | United States | Mississippi River | California | Missouri

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