The state of the art in scour monitoring

Murray Fisher, Abdul A. Khan, Sez Atamturktur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


To highlight the current state of the art in monitoring scour, around bridge piers and abutments, the physical operations, field performances, and environmental sensitivities of both distributed and point measurement systems are reviewed. Maximum scour events typically occur during peak flow periods when bridges play a vital role for evacuation from and providing relief to the flooded area. Given the widespread nature of scour and the costs associated with repairs to bridges, it is imperative to monitor the development of scour around bridge piers and abutments. Therefore, it is necessary for the bridge inspection engineers and federal and state departments of transportation to have a full understanding of the devices they employ to monitor the formation and development of scour around bridge piers and abutments. The point measurement systems include sonar fathometers, time domain reflectometery devices, temperature measurements, fiber optic based devices, magnetic sliding collars, and others. The distributed monitoring methods include advanced sonar devices, bridge structural vibration monitoring, and ground penetrating radar. The overall strengths and weaknesses of each method are discussed and further avenues for research and study are identified. Additionally, the failure modes and effects analysis method is reviewed in the context of designing scour monitoring systems that are resilient to common channel conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSediment Transport
Subtitle of host publicationMonitoring, Modeling and Management
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages36
ISBN (Print)9781626186835
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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