Riprap design at bridge piers with limited scouring

Document Type: Article


1 Department of Civil Engineering, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Department of Civil Engineering, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, P.O. Box 15915, Iran

4 Department of Civil Engineering, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Lavizan, Tehran, P.O. Box 16785-163, Iran


In previous studies, sizing riprap layer around bridge pier as scour countermeasure was for 100% protection against scouring. However, in many cases limited scour depth around a pier maybe accepted if only smaller riprap sizes are available. In the present work the effects of smaller size of riprap stones than the stable size on the scour depth is studied. Circular and oval shapes for riprap extent as well as both round and angular stone shape were tested. All tests were conducted at the threshold of bed sediment motion and the maximum scour depth was measured. The results of these experiments showed that with stone sizes closer to stable riprap, the efficiency of both round and angular stone shape was identical. As, size of riprap was reduced, deeper scour holes were observed with both round and angular shape material. The results also indicated that increasing the extent of the riprap layer from circular to oval with 5 times more riprap volume had insignificant effects on scour hole for angular shape riprap meanwhile reduced the scour depth with round shape material. Based on experimental data a method was developed to calculate a smaller riprap size based on an accepted limited scour hole.