Effect of Sediment Size Scaling on Physical Modeling of Bridge Pier Scour

Local pier scour experiments were performed in the laboratory to investigate the effect of relative sediment size on pier scour depth using 3 uniform sediment sizes and 3 bridge pier designs at different geometric model scales. When the data from a large number of experimental and field investigations is filtered according to a Froude number criterion, the effect of relative sediment size on dimensionless pier scour depth is brought into focus. The choice of sediment size in the laboratory model distorts the value of the ratio of pier width to sediment size in comparison with the prototype which in turn causes larger values of scour depth in the laboratory than in the field. This model distortion due to sediment size is shown to be related to the scaling of the large-scale unsteadiness of the horseshoe vortex by studying the relevant time scales of its coherent structure upstream of a bridge pier using acoustic Doppler velocimeter measurements. Observations of sediment movement, probability distributions of velocity components, and phase-averaging of velocity measured upstream of a bridge pier reveal properties of coherent motions that are discussed in terms of their contribution to the relationship between dimensionless pier scour depth and the ratio of pier width to sediment size over a large range of physical scales.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Abstract reprinted with permission from ASCE
  • Authors:
    • Lee, Seung Oh
    • Sturm, Terry W
  • Publication Date: 2009-10


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01141909
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 8 2009 4:13PM