Numerical Modelling of the Effect of Bridge Piers Shape on Bed Shear Stress

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering. Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

2 Department of Civil Eng., Faculty of Eng., Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


Bridge piers, which are constructed across the rivers, are always prone to the erosion and scouring phenomena. Bed shear stress is one of the main factors of scouring around bridge piers in which there is a direct relationship between bed shear stress and scouring. In the present research work, firstly the laboratory results of cylindrical bridge piers were used for validation of the model, and then the effect of bridge pier’s shape on bed shear stress and other effective parameters were studied by numerical modeling and applying Flow-3D software. The cylinder pier experienced the highest amount of bed shear stress. In contrast, the case lenticular shape showed 26% reduction with cylinder shape occurs. The results show that different pier shapes have a perceptible effect on reducing the maximum amount of bed shear stress. This function affects streamlines around the bridge piers, and the formation, length, and power of wake and horseshoe vortexes. So that, streams having -0.1m/s behind the cylinder affected the length of 0.2m but in lenticular shape, 40% decrease appears. Additionally, the piers with a forehead causes a stronger down-flow. In those sections, because of the presence of horseshoe vortex, streamlines shift to the upstream, so that the negative velocity figures occur in this region.


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