Assessment of Prototype Scour Data

As the adverse effects of climate change continue to mount in natural fluvial environments, the balance of river channel characteristics (e.g. ecosystem health and biodiversity, water quality, flow turbulence and riverbed geomorphology) becomes increasingly vulnerable. In fluvial environments, erosion and deposition of bed material can pose a significant risk to channel bank stability, riverbed degradation and stability of hydraulic structures. As a result, sediment-related processes in river channels are an area of significant interest to the hydraulic engineer. Hydraulic design with respect to sediment transport is carried out on the basis of empirical, physical and computational methods, and evaluation thereof is paramount for design optimization. In the proposed work, design methodology will be evaluated based on comparison with prototype measurements of scour (the removal of bed material in the vicinity of hydraulic structures). Detailed bathymetric data has been acquired by NHC at several field sites under varying hydrotechnical conditions, and comparison thereof will provide a basis for assessment of commonly-used scour estimation and design methodology, improvement of current industry practices and enhancement of present understanding of sediment-related processes.

Faculty Supervisor:

Ram Balachandar


Priscilla Williams


Northwest Hydraulic Consultants Ltd.


Engineering - civil


Professional, scientific and technical services


University of Windsor


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