Determining the presence of scour around bridge foundations using vehicle-induced vibrations

Prendergast, Luke J., Hester, David and Gavin, Kenneth (2016) Determining the presence of scour around bridge foundations using vehicle-induced vibrations. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 21 (10). 04016065. ISSN 1943-5592

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Bridge scour is the number one cause of failure in bridges located over waterways. Scour leads to rapid losses in foundation stiffness and can cause sudden collapse. Previous research on bridge health monitoring has used changes in natural frequency to identify damage in bridge beams. The possibility of using a similar approach to identifying scour is investigated in this paper. To assess if this approach is feasible, it is necessary to establish how scour affects the natural frequency of a bridge, and if it is possible to measure changes in frequency using the bridge dynamic response to a passing vehicle. To address these questions, a novel vehicle–bridge–soil interaction (VBSI) model was developed. By carrying out a modal study in this model, it is shown that for a wide range of possible soil states, there is a clear reduction in the natural frequency of the first mode of the bridge with scour. Moreover, it is shown that the response signals on the bridge from vehicular loading are sufficient to allow these changes in frequency to be detected.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers This material may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the American Society of Civil Engineers. This material may be found at
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Civil Engineering
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Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2018 07:45
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2018 07:47

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