Prediction of clear-water abutment scour depth in compound channel for extreme hydrologic events
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Extreme rainfall events associated with global warming are likely to produce an increasing number of flooding scenarios. A large magnitude of hydrologic events can often result in submerged orifice flow (also called pressure flow) or embankment and bridge overtopping flow, in which the foundation of a bridge is subjected to severe scour at the sediment bed. This phenomenon can cause bridge failure during large floods. However, current laboratory studies have focused on only cases of free-surface flow conditions, and they do not take bridge submergence into account. In this study, abutment scour experiments were carried out in a compound channel to investigate the characteristics of abutment scour in free-surface flow, submerged orifice flow, and overtopping flow cases. Detailed bed contours and three components of velocities and turbulent intensities were measured by acoustic Doppler velocimeters. The results show that the contracted flow around an abutment because of lateral and/or vertical contraction and local turbulent structures at the downstream region of the bridge are the main features of the flow responsible for the maximum scour depth around an abutment. The effects of local turbulent structures on abutment scour are discussed in terms of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) profiles measured in a wide range of flow contraction ratios. The experimental results showed that maximum abutment scour can be predicted by a suggested single relationship even in different flow types (i.e., free, submerged orifice, and overtopping flow) if the turbulent kinetic energy and discharge under the bridge can be accurately measured.