The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been working with Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) since 1993 to provide hydraulic assessments of scour for bridges throughout Alaska. The purpose of the program is to evaluate, monitor, and study streambed scour at bridges in Alaska; this includes surveying streambed elevations at regular intervals and monitoring real-time bed elevation changes. Over the duration of the scour program (1994–2017), repeated cross sections have been surveyed along the lengths of 76 bridges. Channel soundings are depth-from-bridge measurements on either the upstream or downstream side of a bridge. Flow, depth, and velocity dictated whether streambed elevations were measured using either USGS sounding weights on cable reels, weighted measuring tapes, or acoustic Doppler current profilers. The soundings were done on an annual basis at most sites. In addition to annual soundings, channel soundings were made during floods or periods of scour. Results show that general scour can be uniform or non-uniform across the channel. The magnitude and distribution of scour across the channel are influenced by several factors that include streambed sediment type, degree of channel contraction at the bridge crossing, influence of instream structures, and bridge pier location and alignment. The data collected from the repeat soundings can be used to identify long-term aggradation or degradation of the streambed, as well as seasonal changes in streambed elevations.
|Title||Measurement of long-term channel change through repeated cross-section surveys at bridge crossings in Alaska|
|Authors||Karenth L. Dworsky, Jeffrey S. Conaway|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Open-File Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Alaska Science Center Water|