Riprap and Concrete Armor to Prevent Pier Scour

by Lisa M. Fotherby, (M.ASCE),
James F. Ruff, (F.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


Local scour is not a product of recent times or modern building practices. The annals of the Institute of Civil Engineers, in London, contain references throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, to bridge construction and repairs in India resulting from local scour. The rivers in India such as the Ganges, the Jhelum, and the Hoogly, caused difficulties because of the great depth of fine sand found in most large Indian rivers (Stoney, 1898). If a scour hole was identified at a pier, large rocks were customarily dropped into the area surrounding the pier to protect against future scour. The English and East Indians referred to this material as stone pitching because asphalt was occasionally poured around the rocks. It is currently referred to as riprap. In this study, design methods are evaluated for sizing riprap and concrete armor units to prevent local scour at bridge piers.

Subject Headings: Rocks | Riprap | Concrete | Armor units | Piers | Scour | Infrastructure construction | Developing countries | India | Asia

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