Estimation of maximum scour depths at upstream of front and rear piers for two in-line circular columns

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Journal Article
Environmental Fluid Mechanics, 2018, 18 (2), pp. 537 - 550
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© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature. Previous investigations indicate that scour around bridge piers is one of the most important factors for the failure of waterway bridges. Hence, it is essential to determine the accurate scour depth around the bridge piers. Most of the previous studies were based on scour around a single pier; however, in practice, new bridges are usually wide and then piers comprise two circular piers aligned in the flow direction that together support the loading of the structure. In this study, the effect on maximum scour depth of the spacing between two piers aligned in the flow direction was investigated experimentally under clear water scour conditions. The results show that the maximum scour depth at upstream of the front pier occurs when the spacing between the two piers is 2.5 times the diameter of the pier. Two semi empirical equations have been developed to predict the maximum scour depth at upstream of both front and rear piers as a function of the spacing between the piers, in terms of a pier-spacing factor. If the new equations for the pier-spacing factor are used with some of the existing equations for scour at a single pier, the predicted scouring depths are in good agreement with observed results. The S/M equation exhibited the best performance among the various equations tested and was recommended for use in prediction of the equilibrium scour depth. The findings of this study can be used to facilitate the positioning of piers when scouring is a design concern.
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