U.S. Department of Transportation


Date of this Version



Published in Hydraulic Engineering: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions: Proceedings of the Hydraulic Engineering sessions at Water Forum ’92. Baltimore, Maryland, August 2–6, 1992. Published by American Society of Civil Engineers.


Improved understanding of scour and sedimentation processes near and at highway bridges is dependant on collecting reliable field data. Field data collection programs, however, have been hindered by inadequacies in instrumentation and measurement technologies. Through a coordinated program of research, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), State Highway Agencies (SHAs), National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), and other agencies are working on scour instrumentation. Investigations are underway to develop a wide range of equipment types for many purposes and needs, e.g., portable equipment to be used by field crews during floods for scour inspection or measurement of scour processes; fixed equipment to operate unattended during the flood for monitoring the maximum scour; and special geophysical techniques and direct methods for post-flood evaluation of refilled scour holes.