Experimental Study of Three-Dimensional Flow Field around a Complex Bridge Pier

In this paper, a 3-D turbulent flow field around a complex bridge pier placed on a rough fixed bed is experimentally investigated. The complex pier foundation consists of a column, a pile cap, and a 2×4 pile group. All of the elements are exposed to the approaching flow. An acoustic-Doppler velocimeter was used to measure instantaneously the 3 components of the velocities at different horizontal and vertical planes. Profiles and contours of time-averaged velocity components, turbulent intensity components, turbulent kinetic energy, and Reynolds stresses, as well as velocity vectors, are presented and discussed at different vertical and horizontal planes. The approaching boundary layer at the upstream of the pile cap separated in 2 vertical directions and induced an upward flow toward the column and a contracted downward flow below the pile cap and toward the piles. The contracted upward flow on the pile cap interacts with downflow in the front of the column and deflects toward the side of the pier, which in return produces a strong downflow along the side of the pile cap. The flow at the rear of the pile cap is very complex. The strong downward flow at the downstream and near the top of the pile cap in interaction with the reverse flow behind the column and upward flow near the bed produce 2 vortices close to the upper and lower corners of the pile cap with opposite direction of rotation. Conversely, the back-flow from the wake of the pile cap is forced into the top region resulting in secondary recirculation at the wake of the column. The contracted flow below the pile cap and toward the piles, a strong downflow along the sides of the pile cap at the upstream region, and a vortex flow behind the pile cap and an amplification of turbulence intensity along the sides of the pile cap at the downstream region are the main features of the flow responsible for the entrainment of bed sediments.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Abstract reprinted with permission from ASCE
  • Authors:
    • Beheshti, A A
    • Ataie-Ashtiani, B
  • Publication Date: 2010-2


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01152115
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 14 2010 5:50PM