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The flow-structure interaction in an ocean environment, for a pile placed in an erodible bed where currents and waves are of prime concern, changes the bed elevation due to scour in the vicinity of the obstruction. There are certain difficulties in predicting the scour depth, as the particulate movement of sediments due to scour is time-dependent. Considering the complexity of the problem, an instrumentation system has been developed for measuring scour depth with time. This paper outlines the experimental laboratory techniques used to measure scour around pile foundations in silty-clay sediments. Detailed laboratory testing on model piles having a diameter of 50-110 mm was carried out in a wave flume having a length of 30 m and a width of 2.0 m. The motivation of these studies is to obtain observational experience of scour rate in silty-clay soil. Scour depths were monitored continuously for different combinations of wave characteristics and current velocities, and scour-time history is measured. Based on the measurements, a relationship for the scour depth in terms of duration of flow, soil properties, model characteristics, and fluid parameters is presented.
Date of Publication: Jan 2003