Bridge pressure flow scour at clear water threshold condition

Junke Guo, Kornel Kerenyi, Jorge E. Pagan-Ortiz, Kevin Flora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Bridge pressure flow scour at clear water threshold condition is studied theoretically and experimentally. The flume experiments reveal that the measured scour profiles under a bridge are more or less 2-dimensional; all the measured scour profiles can be described by two similarity equations, where the horizontal distance is scaled by the deck width while the local scour by the maximum scour depth; the maximum scour position is located just under the bridge about 15% deck width from the downstream deck edge; the scour begins at about one deck width upstream the bridge while the deposition occurs at about 2.5 deck widths downstream the bridge; and the maximum scour depth decreases with increasing sediment size, but increases with deck inundation. The theoretical analysis shows that: bridge scour can be divided into three cases, i.e. downstream unsubmerged, partially submerged, and totally submerged. For downstream unsubmerged flows, the maximum bridge scour depth is an open-channel problem where the conventional methods in terms of critical velocity or bed shear stress can be applied; for partially and totally submerged flows, the equilibrium maximum scour depth can be described by a scour and an inundation similarity number, which has been confirmed by experiments with two decks and two sediment sizes. For application, a design and field evaluation procedure with examples is presented, including the maximum scour depth and scour profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-94
Number of pages16
JournalTransactions of Tianjin University
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Bridge decks
  • Bridge design
  • Bridge foundations
  • Bridge hydraulics
  • Bridge inundation
  • Bridge scour
  • Pressure flows
  • Pressure scour
  • Submerged flows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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