Table of Contents
Journal of Fluids
Volume 2016, Article ID 4835253, 19 pages
Research Article

Mathematical Modeling of Local Scour at Slender and Wide Bridge Piers

Royal Commission Yanbu Colleges and Institutes, Yanbu University College, P.O. Box 31387, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia

Received 11 January 2016; Accepted 12 April 2016

Academic Editor: Robert Spall

Copyright © 2016 Youssef I. Hafez. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Most existing equations for predicting local scour at bridge piers suffer from overprediction of the scour depths which results in higher foundation costs. To tackle this problem, a mathematical model for predicting bridge pier scour is developed herein based on an energy balance theory. The present study equation was compared to commonly used bridge scour equations using scour field data in USA. The developed equation has several advantages among which we have the following: it adds to the understanding of the physics of bridge pier scour, is valid for slender and wide piers, does not suffer from overprediction of scour depths, addresses clear water and live bed scour, and includes the effects of various characteristics of the bed material such as specific gravity (or density), porosity, size, and angle of repose. In addition, the developed equation accounts for the debris effect and aids in the design of scour mitigation methods such as collars, side bars, slots, and pier protective piles.