Dynamic Reliability in Bridge Pier Scouring


Abstract: Many bridges crossing wide rivers fail due to excessive local scour around piers and abutments during heavy floods. Because of the random nature and complexity of the overall scouring phenomenon through the bridge opening, there exist uncertainties leading to an unavoidable risk in bridge foundation design. A reliability-based assessment of bridge pier scour is required to examine the relationship between safety factors and reliability, which are key parameters for decision making in design. Herein, a dynamic reliability model based on resistance-loading methodology with random independent loading following a Poisson process and random fixed resistance is applied to assess the reliability of local scouring around single cylindrical piers under various combinations of decision variables. Variation of reliability with respect to safety factor, service life, return period and pier size is examined in an integrated manner in a practical application. The results of dynamic reliability are also compared with the findings of the static reliability model.

Keywords: Dynamic reliability, Bridge pier, Scour, Return period, Service life, Safety factor

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