Sie sind auf Seite 1von 9

Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by MISSOURI, UNIV OF/COLUMBIA on 03/01/15. Copyright ASCE.

For personal use only; all rights reserved.

Simplified Method for Estimating Scour at Bridges

A. V. Govindasamy1, J.-L. Briaud2, H.-C. Chen1, J. Delphia3, K. Elsbury1,


P. Gardoni1, G. Herrman3, D. Kim1, C.C. Mathewson1, M. McClelland3, F. Olivera1
1
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-3136 2Zachry Dept. of Civil Engineering,
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 77843-3136; briaud@tamu.edu 3Texas Department
of Transportation, Austin, Texas

ABSTRACT: Scour at bridges is a major cause of bridge failure in the United States.
Current available methods of bridge scour evaluation rely upon two categories of
assessment methods. The first category is an initial evaluation process that is based on
field observations and is primarily qualitative in nature. This method does not utilize
actual measured scour data. The second category involves calculations of maximum
scour depth based on flume tests on sand. The first method does not provide realistic
results in many cases due to its reliance on a more qualitative form of assessment.
The second method is often conservative in the case of clays, which are known to
erode at a much slower rate than sand. A simplified method for estimating the scour
risk of a bridge has been developed. The proposed method comprises three phases
presented in decision tree format. The first phase utilizes measured scour data and
observed or estimated flow parameters at a bridge to evaluate the scour risk. The
second and third phases involve simple calculations to obtain maximum scour depth
and time dependent scour depth, respectively. Phases two and three do not require site
specific erosion testing of bridge foundation soils. The proposed method will provide
more realistic scour risk estimates due to the fact that it utilizes measured data and
accounts for time dependent scour depth for clays. The elimination of site specific
erosion testing reduces the effort and cost associated with evaluating a bridge for
scour.

INTRODUCTION

Out of the approximately 600,000 bridges in the United States, 500,000 are over
water (National Bridge Inventory 1997). In the last 30 years more than 1,000 of the
600,000 bridges have failed. Of those failures, 60% were caused by scour, with
earthquakes accounting for only 2% (Shirole and Holt 1991). The average cost for
flood damage repair of highways on the federal aid system is $50 million per year
(Lagasse et al. 1995). From a collective evaluation of bridges over waterways carried
out by state Departments of Transportation (DOT) in the United States, it was found
that 62.4% of these bridges have a low risk of scour failure, 13.5% are scour
susceptible, 20.0% have unknown foundations, 0.6% are left to be screened, and 3.5%

385

Copyright ASCE 2008 GeoCongress 2008


GeoCongress 2008
386 GEOCONGRESS 2008: GEOSUSTAINABILITY AND GEOHAZARD MITIGATION
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by MISSOURI, UNIV OF/COLUMBIA on 03/01/15. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

or about 17,000 bridges are scour critical, which means that they are likely to fail if
subjected to a 100-year flood (Pagan-Ortiz 1998). These statistics give a clear
indication of the significance of the bridge scour problem and highlight the need of a
proper bridge scour assessment program.
The methods currently available for bridge scour evaluation rely upon two
categories of assessments. The first category is an initial evaluation process that is
qualitative in nature and is based on the bridge inspectors field observations. This
method does not utilize actual measured scour data. The second method is a
quantitative assessment that involves calculations of maximum scour depth based on
flume tests on sand. The first method does not provide realistic results in many cases
due to its reliance on a more qualitative form of assessment. The second method is
often conservative in the case of clays, which are known to erode at a much slower
rate than sand.
This paper presents a simplified method for estimating the scour risk of a bridge
which has and is being developed by the authors. The proposed method consists of
three phases termed Bridge Scour Assessments 1, 2 and 3 (BSA 1, BSA 2 & BSA 3)
presented in decision tree format. BSA 1 utilizes measured scour data and observed or
estimated flow parameters at a bridge to evaluate the scour risk. BSA 2 and BSA 3
involve simple calculations to obtain maximum scour depth and time dependent scour
depth, respectively. BSA 2 and BSA 3 do not require site specific erosion testing of
bridge foundation soils, but instead utilize an erosion chart to determine the
erodibility and erosion function of geologic material.

CURRENT PRACTICE

Scour can be divided into general scour (general erosion of the stream bed without
obstacles), local scour (scour generated by the presence of obstacles such as piers and
abutments), and channel migration (lateral movement of the main stream channel)
(Briaud et al. 1999).
Initial scour evaluation procedures have been developed by/for several state DOTs.
These methods are either qualitative in nature, or rely on simplified
scour depth hydraulic parameter relationships that are mainly based on flume tests
in sand. These methods, unlike the BSA 1 do not make use of measured scour depths
in the field. For example, the Montana DOT, in collaboration with the United States
Geological Survey (USGS), developed a rapid scour evaluation process that relies
upon calculated scour depth measured hydraulic parameter relationships (Holnbeck
and Parrett 1997). A similar method has also been adopted by the Missouri DOT
(Huizinga and Rydlund 2004). The Tennessee DOT uses an initial evaluation process
that utilizes a qualitative index based on field observations to describe the potential
problems resulting from scour (Simon et al. 1989). Similar qualitative methods have
been adopted by the California, Idaho and Texas DOTs and the Colorado Highway
Department for their initial assessment of bridges for scour. Johnson (2005)
developed a preliminary assessment procedure that individually rates 13 stream
channel stability indicators, which are then summed to provide an overall score that
places a bridge in one of four categories: excellent, good, fair and poor.

Copyright ASCE 2008 GeoCongress 2008


GeoCongress 2008
GEOCONGRESS 2008: GEOSUSTAINABILITY AND GEOHAZARD MITIGATION 387
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by MISSOURI, UNIV OF/COLUMBIA on 03/01/15. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

Current practice for more detailed scour evaluation is heavily influenced by two
FHWA hydraulic engineering circulars called HEC-18 and HEC-20 (Richardson and
Davis 2001; Lagasse et al. 1995). These methods regroup the work of many
investigators and are known to be overly conservative in the case of clays and some
types of rock due to the fact that they are based on flume tests in sand and do not
account for time-dependent scour. Briaud et al. (1999, 2005) at Texas A&M
University developed models to calculate scour depths due to pier and contraction
scour that are capable of accounting for time-dependent scour in clays. However,
these methods require site specific erosion testing.

BRIDGE SCOUR ASSESSMENT 1 (BSA 1)

BSA 1 makes use of existing data collected either from bridge records maintained
by the authorities or by site visit. Figure 1 shows the BSA 1 flowchart. BSA 1
essentially is aimed at determining the probability that the scour depth corresponding
to the 100-year flood (Z100) exceeds the scour depth leading to a foundation safety
factor of one (Zthreshold). The value of Zthreshold can be obtained from simple foundation
bearing capacity calculations. Z100 is obtained from the following equation:

(Zmo/Z100) = (Vmo/V100) (1)

where Zmo = maximum observed scour depth in the field


Vmo = maximum flow ever experienced by the bridge
V100 = flow velocity corresponding to the 100-year flood, Q100
= 1 for flow velocities within the range of 0.1 to 3.5 m/s
Equation (1) is based on the work being carried out by the authors on the
relationship between calculated scour depth and flow velocity. Preliminary findings
indicate that the value of the is around 1 for velocities ranging from 0.1 m/s to
3.5 m/s. This velocity range is well within the range of velocities in rivers in the
Unites States. Once the required parameters are obtained, the probability of Z100
exceeding Zthreshold, P(Z100 > Zthreshold) is determined. If P(Z100 > Zthreshold) is below a
pre-determined operating risk level, R, the bridge is found as Minimal Risk (Regular
Monitoring). The term Regular Monitoring refers to the routine bridge inspections
carried out by relevant authorities. If the bridge is not found as Minimal Risk
(Regular Monitoring) at the end of BSA 1, BSA 2 needs to be undertaken.

Copyright ASCE 2008 GeoCongress 2008


GeoCongress 2008
388 GEOCONGRESS 2008: GEOSUSTAINABILITY AND GEOHAZARD MITIGATION
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by MISSOURI, UNIV OF/COLUMBIA on 03/01/15. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

FIG. 1. Bridge Scour Assessment 1 Flowchart.

BRIDGE SCOUR ASSESSMENT 2 (BSA 2)

The BSA 2 flowchart is shown in Figure 2. BSA 2 consists of two parts. The first
part is essentially a simple filtering process that utilizes the critical velocity of the soil
present at the bridge (Vc) and local velocities at the pier, contraction or abutment
(Vmax,p, Vmax,c and Vmax,a, respectively). The critical velocity is obtained by an Erosion
Chart developed on the basis of a database of more than 500 Erosion Function
Apparatus (EFA) tests (Briaud et al. 1999) and on the experience of the authors
(Figures 3a and 3b). The Erosion Chart shows erosion categories for various soils and
the bridge inspector can determine the relevant critical velocity. This chart essentially
eliminates the need for site specific erosion testing. Work on the Erosion Chart is on-
going and the chart presented herein is based on preliminary findings. The following
equations for local velocities are derived from the authors experience and numerical
simulations results:

Vmax,p = 1.5 Vappr (2)

Vmax,c = Vappr / Rc (3)

Vmax,a = 1.5 Vmax,c (4)

Copyright ASCE 2008 GeoCongress 2008


GeoCongress 2008
GEOCONGRESS 2008: GEOSUSTAINABILITY AND GEOHAZARD MITIGATION 389
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by MISSOURI, UNIV OF/COLUMBIA on 03/01/15. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

where Vappr = approach velocity upstream of the bridge and Rc = contraction ratio (the
ratio of the contracted width of the channel to the uncontracted width of the channel).
If the local velocities exceed the soil critical velocity, then the second part of BSA 2
is required to be carried out. Otherwise, the velocities at the obstruction are less than
the velocity required to initiate significant erosion and the bridge is categorized as
Minimal Risk (Regular Monitoring).

In the second part of BSA 2, simple calculations for maximum scour depth are
carried out. The calculations for maximum pier scour and contraction scour are
adopted from Briaud et al. (1999, 2005). Calculations for maximum abutment scour
are based on HEC-18. The maximum local scour depth, Zmax,l is a summation of all
three scour components:

Zmax,l = Zmax,p + Zmax,c + Zmax,a (5)

where Zmax,p, Zmax,c and Zmax,a are the maximum pier scour, contraction scour and
abutment scour, respectively.

If Zmax,l does not exceed Zthreshold, the bridge is deemed as Minimal Risk (Regular
Monitoring). Otherwise, BSA 3 needs to be undertaken.

FIG. 2. Bridge Scour Assessment 2 Flowchart.

Copyright ASCE 2008 GeoCongress 2008


GeoCongress 2008
390 GEOCONGRESS 2008: GEOSUSTAINABILITY AND GEOHAZARD MITIGATION
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by MISSOURI, UNIV OF/COLUMBIA on 03/01/15. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

FIG. 3(a). Erosion Chart (Shear Stress)

FIG. 3(b). Erosion Chart (Velocity)

Copyright ASCE 2008 GeoCongress 2008


GeoCongress 2008
GEOCONGRESS 2008: GEOSUSTAINABILITY AND GEOHAZARD MITIGATION 391
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by MISSOURI, UNIV OF/COLUMBIA on 03/01/15. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

BRIDGE SCOUR ASSESSMENT 3 (BSA 3)

The BSA 3 flowchart is shown in Figure 4. BSA 3 involves the calculation of time
dependent scour depth, Zfin,l which is a summation of the three scour components:

Zfin,l = Zfin,p + Zfin,c + Zfin,a (6)

where Zfin,p, Zfin,c and Zfin,a are the pier scour, contraction scour and abutment scour
after a specified time, respectively.

BSA 3 utilizes the hyperbolic model determine to Zfin,l (Briaud et al. 1999 and 2005):

t
z fin , p = (7)
1 t
+
z& i z max, p

t
z fin , c = (8)
1 t
+
z& i z max, c

where i is the initial scour rate.

FIG. 4. Bridge Scour Assessment 3 Flowchart.

Copyright ASCE 2008 GeoCongress 2008


GeoCongress 2008
392 GEOCONGRESS 2008: GEOSUSTAINABILITY AND GEOHAZARD MITIGATION
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by MISSOURI, UNIV OF/COLUMBIA on 03/01/15. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

i is the scour rate on the Erosion Chart (Figure 3) which corresponds to the shear
stress at the initiation of scour, max. t is the equivalent time which is the time required
for the maximum velocity in the hydrograph to create the same scour depth as the one
created by the complete hydrograph (Briaud et al. 1999).

The process of determining the time dependent abutment scour, Zfin,a is ongoing. At
this point in time, the reader is referred to HEC-18 for maximum abutment scour
depth calculations. If Zfin,l does not exceed Zthreshold, the bridge is deemed as
Minimal Risk (Regular Monitoring). Otherwise, action is required.

ONGOING RESEARCH AND FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS

The method presented in this paper is a result of ongoing research work at Texas
A&M University lead by Dr. Jean-Louis Briaud. Several additions to the material
presented herein are in the development stage and it is envisioned that the final
product will be a comprehensive method for bridge scour assessment. Some of the
planned additions are the simplified determination of the Vmo/V100 ratio from bridge
flow data as well as rainfall data. Work is also underway to improve and verify the
Erosion Chart. Additionally, the probability P(Z100 > Zthreshold) in BSA 1 will
incorporate a Bayesian statistical procedure that updates the probability of
exceedence based on observed scour depth (Zmo). The final product will also be
subjected to verification with field data.

CONCLUSION

A new method for evaluating bridges for scour has been developed and divided into
three Bridge Scour Assessments (BSA). BSA 1 is based on a relatively new idea of
incorporating actual scour measurements into a preliminary assessment for bridge
scour before more detailed scour calculations are carried out if required. BSA 2 and
BSA 3 involve simple calculations for maximum and time dependent scour depth,
respectively and do not require site specific erosion testing.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This project was sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation.

REFERENCES

Briaud, J.-L., Ting, F.C.K., Chen, H.C., Rao G., Perugu, S. and Wei, G. (1999).
SRICOS: prediction of scour rate in cohesive soils at bridge piers. Journal of
Geotechnical and Environmental Engineering, Vol. 125, (4): 237-246.
Briaud, J.-L., Chen, H.C., Li, Y., Nurtjahyo, P. and Wang, J. (2005). SRICOS-
EFA method for contraction scour in fine-grained soils. Journal of Geotechnical
and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 131, (10): 1289-1294.

Copyright ASCE 2008 GeoCongress 2008


GeoCongress 2008
GEOCONGRESS 2008: GEOSUSTAINABILITY AND GEOHAZARD MITIGATION 393
Downloaded from ascelibrary.org by MISSOURI, UNIV OF/COLUMBIA on 03/01/15. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

Holnbeck, S.R. and Parrett, C. (1997). Method for Rapid Estimation of Scour at
Highway Bridges Based on Limited Site Data, U.S. Geological Survey, Water-
Resources Investigations Report 96-4310, Helena, Montana. pp. 79.
Huizinga, R.J. and Rydlund, P.H. (2004). Potential-Scour Assessments and
Estimates of Scour Depth Using Different Techniques at Selected Bridge Sites in
Missouri, Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5213,U.S. Geological Survey, pp
41.
Johnson, P.A. (2005). Preliminary Assessment and Rating of Stream Channel
Stability Near Bridges. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 131, (10): 845-
852.
Lagasse, P.F., Shall, J.D., Johnson, F., Richardson, E.V., and Chang, F. (1995).
Stream stability at highway structures. U.S. Federal Highway Administration
Publication, Rep. No. FHWA-IP-90-014, Hydraulic Engineering Circular No. 20,
Washington, D.C., pp 195.
National Bridge Inventory. (1997). Bridge Management Branch, Federal Highway
Administration, Washington, D.C.
Pagan-Ortiz, J. E. (1998). Status of scour evaluation of bridges over waterways in
the United States. Proc., ASCE Conf. on Water Resour. Engrg., ASCE, Reston,
Va., 24.
Richardson, E. V., and Davis, S. M. (2001). Evaluating scour at bridges.
Publication No. FWHA-IP-90-017, HEC-18, U.S. Dept. of Transportation,
Washington, D.C.
Shirole, A. M., and Holt, R. C. (1991). Planning for a comprehensive bridge safety
assurance program. Transp. Res. Rec. No. 1290, Transportation Research Board,
Washington, D.C., 137142.
Simon, Andrew, Outlaw, George. S., and Thoman, Randy. (1989). Evaluation,
modeling and mapping of potential bridge scour, West Tennessee, Proceedings of
the Bridge Scour Symposium, Subcommittee on Sedimentation, Interagency
Advisory Committee on Water Data, co-sponsored by Federal Highway
Administration and U.S Geological Survey: 112-139.

Copyright ASCE 2008 GeoCongress 2008


GeoCongress 2008