Investigation of the Effect of Six Legged Concrete (SLC) Elements Combined with Riprap on Scour Depth at Vertical Wall Bridge Abutments

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D.Student, Faculty of Water Sciences Engineering, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran.

2 Professor, Faculty of Water Sciences Engineering, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran

3 Professor, Faculty of Water Sciences Engineering, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran.


Destruction of bridges caused by scour and other natural phenomenon brings about financial and life losses. Hence, researchers have been studied extensively the scour mechanism and methods of scour countermeasure. Usually scour at bridge occurs both around piers and abutments. Melville (1992)'s study showed that 70 percent of the failure of bridges in New Zealand was due to the abutment scour. Studies conducted on the failure of 383 bridges in the United States showed that in 25% of them the pier scour, and in 72% of them the damage was due to abutment scour (Kayatrak, 2005). The main cause of the abutment scour is due to complex flow vortices which developed around the abutment. Therefore, during the past decades many measures have been developed to protect the bed material against erosion. These techniques can be categorized in two types of covering methods and flow altering techniques. Design guidelines for some of these mitigation techniques can be found in Melville and Coleman (2000). For existing bridges the common practice is to use armoring materials around bridge abutment. Riprap, gabions, rectangular concrete blocks and tetrahedron frames concrete elements are the most effective material for covering and stabilizing the bed around the bridge abutments. In rivers with high flood discharge, the covering material are subject to high flow velocities and therefore large size of rocks have to be used. When the site construction is far away from mountain area or large sizes of the rocks are not available or too costly to transport, other material should be applied. In the present study, a new concrete element-six –legs concrete (SLC)- beside using of smaller size of rocks have been studied to find out the best combination for protecting bridge abutments against scour.


Main Subjects

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Volume 42, Issue 1
March 2019
Pages 99-114
  • Receive Date: 16 February 2017
  • Revise Date: 26 June 2017
  • Accept Date: 02 July 2017
  • Publish Date: 21 March 2019