A SAMPLE COMPARISON OF THE GEOMORPHIC CHARACTER OF TWO RIVER BASINS AS RELATED TO SUSCEPTIBILITY TO BRIDGE FAILURE

From the well-known hypothesis that is expected that a degree of geologically based similarity would exist in the surface properties of those systems showing a similarity of surface geometry, it is reasonable to assume that drainage basins with the same degree of stability (or instability) possess a certain similarity in geomorphology and channel networks, and vice versa. This study intended to show, in part, the validity of this assumption for two river basins and to point out the importance of a geomorphic investigation of the basin. The Tye River Basin was selected as an example of an unstable basin and the North Fork Rivanna River Basin as a stable basin. The extremely intensive rainfall from Hurricane Camille was a main reason for four failures out of seven bridges in the Tye River Basin; however, the unstable character of the basin itself appeared to be a contributing factor in these catastrophic failures. The analysis clearly reveals the unstable character of the Tye River Basin as related to water and sediment discharges. It is also shown that the geomorphic character of the North Fork Rivanna River Basin is distinguishably different from that of the Tye River Basin. Because the extent of the study was limited and the analysis is not yet conclusive, it is recommended that more data of this type be collected and analyzed in order to determine the nature of a river basin and its degree of stability from the geomorphic character of the basin as a means of improving bridge design and preventive maintenance of existing bridges.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Chang (Fred FM)

    9614 Jomar Drive
    Fairfax, VA  United States  22030
  • Authors:
    • Chang, FFM
  • Publication Date: 1974-10

Media Info

  • Pagination: 35 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00095735
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-RD-74- 74 Final Rpt., FCP 35H1-121
  • Contract Numbers: 41-42-0118
  • Files: NTIS, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 26 1976 12:00AM