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Friday 26 Oct 2018Debris-induced scour and hydrodynamic pressure at bridges

Dr Mohsen Ebrahimi - CWS, University of Exeter

Harrison 170 13:30-14:30


Scour is widely recognized as the leading cause of bridge failures around the world. A key factor widely acknowledged to increase the scour risk of bridges is [woody] debris. In RAMB project, we are focusing on masonry bridges, as vital components of UK transport network, which are susceptible to debris blockage due to their special geometry. We have combined results from in-house flume experiments with data available in literature to propose an equation to improve estimation of debris-induced scour at bridges. This equation is expected to update the present approach proposed in CIRIA C742. It will be also used to inform the revised version of Standard BD97 by Highways England.

The second part of my talk will be a brief review of our recent findings on hydrodynamic pressure at arch bridges and the significance of negative pressure under the arch.


I joined the Centre for Water Systems (CWS) in May 2015. I work, as a physical modeller, in RAMB project investigating effect of debris blockage on scour at masonry bridges under flood conditions. I work with Prof Slobodan Djordjevic, Dr Prakash Kripakaran and Prof Gavin Tabor from UoE, and academics from Heriot-Watt University and University of Belgrade. Project findings are expected to improve scour management at bridges via informing present UK standards (CIRIA & Highways England). I am also investigating, with Prof Michael Belmont, the impact of a novel generation of tidal turbines (MRL turbine) on seabed erosion using flume experiments.

I have completed my PhD in 2015 at Queen’s University, Canada, on physical modelling of flow, bank erosion and planimetric changes in meandering streams.

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