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Effect of Scour on the Natural Frequency Responses of Bridge Piers: Development of a Scour Depth Sensor

1
Université Paris Est, Ifsttar, 77420 Champs sur Marne, France
2
INRS, Centre Eau Terre Environnement, Québec, QC G1K 9A9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4020021
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 2 May 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovate, Research, and Maintain Transportation Infrastructure)
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Abstract

Local scour is the removal of soil around bridge foundations under the erosive action of flowing water. This hydraulic risk has raised awareness of the need for developing continuous monitoring techniques to estimate scour depth around bridge piers and abutments. One of the emerging techniques is based on monitoring the vibration frequency of either bridge piers or a driven sensor in the riverbed. The sensor proposed in this study falls into the second category. Some unresolved issues are investigated: the effect of the geometry and material of the sensor, the effect of the embedded length and the effect of soil type. To this end, extensive laboratory tests are performed using rods of different materials, with various geometries and lengths. These tests are conducted in both dry sand and a soft clayey soil. Since the sensor will be placed in the riverbed, it is crucial to evaluate the effect of immersed conditions on its response. A numerical 3D finite-element model was developed and compared against experimental data. This model was then used to compute the ’wet’ frequencies of the sensor. Finally, based on both the experimental and numerical results, an equivalent cantilever model is proposed to correlate the variation of the frequency of the sensor to the scour depth.
Keywords: bridge scour; vibration; soil-structure interaction; equivalent cantilever; monitoring bridge scour; vibration; soil-structure interaction; equivalent cantilever; monitoring
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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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Boujia, N.; Schmidt, F.; Chevalier, C.; Siegert, D.; Van Bang, D.P. Effect of Scour on the Natural Frequency Responses of Bridge Piers: Development of a Scour Depth Sensor. Infrastructures 2019, 4, 21.

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