Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New tech to help protect bridges, other infrastructure from scour

Date:
November 15, 2010
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
New technology allows engineers to assess the scour potential of soils at various depths and on-site for the first time -- which will help evaluate the safety of civil infrastructure before and after storm events. Scour, or erosion of soil around structures due to water flow, is responsible for a wide range of critical infrastructure failures -- from unstable bridges to the levees that gave way in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The ISEP will help authorities prepare for, or minimize the impact of, events such as the failure of the levees in the wake of Katrina.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a sensor that allows engineers to assess the scour potential of soils at various depths and on-site for the first time -- a technology that will help evaluate the safety of civil infrastructure before and after storm events. Scour, or erosion of soil around structures due to water flow, is responsible for a wide range of critical infrastructure failures -- from unstable bridges to the levees that gave way in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Related Articles


"The 'in situ scour evaluation probe' (ISEP) is the first technology that allows technicians in the field to measure the scour potential of soils without the need for excavation," says Dr. Mo Gabr, a professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the new device. "Previous technologies required engineers to take samples and process them in a lab."

Understanding scour potential is important because it can help authorities prepare for, or minimize the impact of, events such as the failure of the levees in the wake of Katrina. Scour has also been linked to approximately 60 percent of the bridge failures in the United States, as documented by the Federal Highway Administration.

"The ISEP's ability to measure scour potential at different depths helps us predict how the soil will behave in the future as a support media, as various layers of soil are eroded or scoured," Gabr says.

The ISEP will also allow end-users such as federal and state agencies and private consultants to perform scour assessment more frequently, since they will not have to take physical samples back to a lab for analysis. More testing data means researchers will have a larger data set to work with, which should help them to more accurately predict scouring rates and behavior.

The new probe uses a water jet to burrow a hole into the soil. Researchers can track the rate at which the water displaces the soil to determine the scour rate. Researchers can also manipulate the velocity and flow rate of the water to simulate various natural events -- from normal stream flow to hurricane-induced surges.

The researchers plan to take the ISEP to North Carolina's Outer Banks later this month to help with research efforts related to dune erosion.

The paper, "In Situ measurement of the scour potential of non-cohesive sediments (ISEP)," was presented Nov. 8 at the 5th International Conference on Scour and Erosion in San Francisco, Calif. The lead author is NC State graduate student Cary Caruso. The ISEP was developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as part of the work being done by the DHS Center of Excellence on Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure and Emergency Management.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "New tech to help protect bridges, other infrastructure from scour." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115111009.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2010, November 15). New tech to help protect bridges, other infrastructure from scour. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115111009.htm
North Carolina State University. "New tech to help protect bridges, other infrastructure from scour." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115111009.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) A virtual flying enthusiast converts parts of a written-off Airbus aircraft into a working flight simulator in his northern Slovenian home. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins