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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7871089, 15 pages
Research Article

Development of a Vehicle-Bridge-Soil Dynamic Interaction Model for Scour Damage Modelling

1School of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University College Dublin, Newstead, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
2School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast, University Road, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK

Received 1 July 2015; Revised 19 August 2015; Accepted 23 August 2015

Academic Editor: Ruqiang Yan

Copyright © 2016 L. J. Prendergast et al. 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.


Damage detection in bridges using vibration-based methods is an area of growing research interest. Improved assessment methodologies combined with state-of-the-art sensor technology are rapidly making these approaches applicable for real-world structures. Applying these techniques to the detection and monitoring of scour around bridge foundations has remained challenging; however this area has gained attraction in recent years. Several authors have investigated a range of methods but there is still significant work required to achieve a rounded and widely applicable methodology to detect and monitor scour. This paper presents a novel Vehicle-Bridge-Soil Dynamic Interaction (VBSDI) model which can be used to simulate the effect of scour on an integral bridge. The model outputs dynamic signals which can be analysed to determine modal parameters and the variation of these parameters with respect to scour can be examined. The key novelty of this model is that it is the first numerical model for simulating scour that combines a realistic vehicle loading model with a robust foundation soil response model. This paper provides a description of the model development and explains the mathematical theory underlying the model. Finally a case study application of the model using typical bridge, soil, and vehicle properties is provided.