Field Experiment and Numerical Verification of the Local Scour Depth of Bridge Pier with Two Smart Rocks


In this study, algorithms are theoretically proposed to determine the locations of multiple smart rocks that are used to predict the topography in the vicinity of a bridge pier or abutment, with/without considering the effect of the ambient magnetic field (AMF). One smart rock is a concrete sphere with a super-strong magnet embedding in the center. The direction of the magnet cylinder is downward-pointing. To validate the localization algorithm, field tests at a bridge pier in the state of California, USA, were conducted in the case of two smart rocks. Numerical simulation is also performed to study the interaction between the two smart rocks as well as the influence of the interaction on the effective distance. The influence of the AMF on the effective distance is numerically simulated. Results show that the steel rebars in the bridge cause an inhomogeneous dispersion of the AMF, and the placement of double rocks changes the dispersion of the AMF in the vicinity of the bridge pier. The localization algorithms are successfully employed to determine the locations of the rock spheres, and the interaction between double rocks decays exponentially with an increase of the relative distance.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


This study receives partial financial support from the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology under Cooperative Agreement No. OASRTRS-14-H-MST. Besides, the Missouri Department of Transportation also offers financial support to this study.

Keywords and Phrases

Field Test; Localization Criteria; Magnetic Field; Numerical Simulation; Scour Depth

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1873-7323; 0141-0296

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2021 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

15 Dec 2021