Hydraulics & Waterways


394324 - Air injection for scour reduction

Tuesday, June 5
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Regency Room

Scour at hydraulic structures such as bridge piers and abutments, stilling basins, and river bends can cause loss of life, structural collapse, and environmental damage to the ecosystem. Although many passive (requiring no atmosphere-damaging use of electricity) scour countermeasures exist, such as riprap, geotextile cloth, submerged vanes, collars, spur dikes and groynes, these are subject to local scour and destruction themselves. An alternative flow-altering scour countermeasure consisting of air injection into the scour-inducing flow pattern can have benefits. Air injection cannot be damaged due to the flow-adjusting nature of the bubbles as they are not rigid. Although injecting air does require an air compressor, they can be powered by solar panels and set up to only be activated during high-flows. Air injection is not needed in low-flows since the water velocity is slow and below the scour incipient motion conditions. Air injection has been proven successful in laboratory experiments for stilling basins and cylindrical bridge piers. Scour is reduced by the uplifting of the flow by the rising bubbles and the lowering of turbulence by the bubbles.

Brian D. Barkdoll, PhD, F.ASCE

Michigan Tech

Dr. Brian D. Barkdoll, PhD,PE,F.ASCE,D.WRE,D.EWRI is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. He has degrees from the Univ of Akron, Cincinnati, and Iowa. He was an engineer in the US Peace Corps, the N.E. Ohio Regional Sewer District, and an Assistant Professor at the Univ of Mississippi. He has performed research in developing country issues, water distribution systems, and bridge scour. He is an Associate Editor of the ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering. He has taught courses in fluid mechanic, hydraulics, stream restoration, water and sewer systems, hydrology, stormwater low impact development, and water and wastewater treatment.


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394324 - Air injection for scour reduction

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