Scour assessment at bridge piers due to floods

Abraham Kurtoglu, Jedd Linke-Nagel
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Australia
School of Engineering
Dr. Dilan Robert
March 2019 - October 2019

The scour of sediments surrounding bridge piers is a common cause of bridge failures and damages. This form of scour is a complex mechanism influenced by many flow, sediment and other external parameters. Due to this complexity, it is very difficult to predict.

Previous research and analysis of empirically derived methods of local scour prediction identified a need for a more accurate and consistent way of predicting scour patterns. A coupled CFD-DEM approach offers a potential solution to the shortcomings of the empirical methodology. Using a Fluent-EDEM coupled framework, local scour can be estimated for the piers of a pre-construction phase river crossing in regional Victoria, Australia.

This study seeks to analyse the impact of varying parameters on bridge pier scour and investigate the feasibility of applying CFD-DEM to better predict scour in real-world applications.

While the study is still ongoing, early results indicate that this approach can yield highly detailed estimations of scour shapes, size and depth. More work is being done to assess the impact of certain key parameters.

Modelling and findings are still ongoing but EDEM has allowed us to simulate the interaction between water disturbed by the pier and the bedding sediment using CFD coupling. The detail of this simulation is far greater than what could have been achieved using only CFD modelling

Abraham Kurtoglu and Jedd Linke-Nagel Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology