Comparison of maximum scour estimations using the HEC-18 method with field data from the USGS database

Gianna Gavriel*, Paul J Vardanega, Maria Pregnolato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

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A-priori estimates of maximum scour depth are important for bridge engineers, managers and owners. HEC-18 is an established method which uses empirical equations to estimate bridge scour. This paper applies the HEC-18 methodology to compute maximum scour depth for 936 bridge piers for which field scour depth measurements are available from an online database from the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The results are in general agreement with past research efforts which suggest that the HEC-18 methodology tends to overestimate maximum bridge pier scour depth. The database is also categorized into various sub-sets to study the effect of different particle sizes and devices used to measure scour in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Geotechnical Engineering - Unity and Diversity
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 17th Danube–European Conference on Geotechnical Engineering, 7-9 June 2023, Bucharest, Romania
EditorsIrina Lungu, Iancu-Bogdan Teodoru, Loretta Batali
Place of PublicationIşai, România
PublisherPolitehnium Publishing House
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-973-621-522-3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2023
Event17th Danube - European Conference on Geotechnical Engineering - Bucharest, Romania
Duration: 7 Jun 20239 Jun 2023


Conference17th Danube - European Conference on Geotechnical Engineering
Abbreviated title17DECGE


  • Bridge Scour
  • HEC-18
  • Databases


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