Composite reliability model for local scour around cylindrical bridge piers

Yanmaz A. M. , ÇİÇEKDAĞ Ö.

CANADIAN JOURNAL OF CIVIL ENGINEERING, vol.28, no.3, pp.520-535, 2001 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Doi Number: 10.1139/cjce-28-3-520
  • Page Numbers: pp.520-535
  • Keywords: reliability, bridge pier, scour, resistance, loading, safety factor, return period, LIVE-BED SCOUR, PEARSON TYPE-3, DISTRIBUTIONS, UNCERTAINTY, DESIGN, RISK


Bridge scour is an extremely complex phenomenon because of the random characteristics of sediment laden flow in close proximity to piers and abutments. This occurrence leads to high uncertainties and unavoidable risk in bridge pier and abutment design. In this study, a composite reliability model is developed for the reliability assessment of bridge pier scour using static resistance - loading interference. Based on the physical interpretation of the phenomenon and a statistical analysis of the available information, the relative maximum scour depth (corresponding to the minimum required relative pier footing elevation) and the linear combination of the relative approach flow depth and flow Froude number are defined as the system resistance and external loading, respectively. By examining a set of laboratory and field data, a two-parameter bivariate lognormal distribution is found to represent the joint probability density function of resistance and loading. Reliability expressions are developed in terms of resistance. Use of the model is illustrated in a practical application in which a relationship is obtained between the reliability and safety factors under various return periods. This information is of importance in decision making.