Use of vanes for control of scour at vertical wall abutments

P. A. Johnson, R. D. Hey, M. Tessier, D. L. Rosgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Rock vanes are single-arm structures angled to the flow with a pitch into the streambed such that the tip of the vane is submerged even during low flow. Vanes have primarily been used in recent years for treatment of bank erosion in stream stability projects. These structures roll the water away from the eroding banks, thus limiting erosion of the channel banks. They have proven to be very effective treatments over a range of flow conditions. In this project, the effectiveness of vanes for preventing scour at single-span bridges with vertical wall abutments was evaluated based on laboratory experiments. The vanes were tested in small-scale experiments in a recirculating flume and subjected to a range of flow conditions, including bank full and a number of overbank flows, which were forced to return to the channel at the abutment. The results showed that the vanes were highly effective in moving the scour away from the abutment into the center of the channel under all flow conditions tested. Based on the experimental results, optimum design settings for the vane angle and height, most effective number of vanes, and distance upstream for placement of the first vane were determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)772-778
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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