Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-375
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-375

  23 Dec 2020

23 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Assessing flooding impact to riverine bridges: an integrated analysis

Maria Pregnolato1, Andrew O. Winter2, Dakota Mascarenas2, Andrew D. Sen3, Paul Bates4, and Michael R. Motley2 Maria Pregnolato et al.
  • 1Dep. of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TR, UK
  • 2Dep. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, 98103, USA
  • 3Dep. of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Marquette University, Milwaukee, 53233, USA
  • 4School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1RL, UK

Abstract. Flood events are the most frequent cause of damage to infrastructure compared to any other natural hazard, and global changes (climate, socio-economic, technological) are likely to increase this damage. Transportation infrastructure systems are responsible for moving people, goods and services, and ensuring connection within and among urban areas. A failed link in this system can impact the community by threatening evacuation capability, recovery operations and the overall economy. Bridges are critical links in the wider urban system since they are associated with little redundancy and a high (re)construction cost. Riverine bridges are particularly prone to failure during flood events; in fact, the risks to bridges from high river flows and bank erosion have been recognized as crucial at global level. The interaction among flow, structure and network is complex, and yet to be fully understood. This study aims to establish rigorous practices of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for modelling hydrodynamic forces on inundated bridges, and understanding the consequences of such impact on the surrounding network. Objectives of this study are to model hydrodynamic forces as demand on the bridge structure, to advance a reliability analysis of the structure under the modelled loading and to assess the overall impact at systemic level. The flood-prone City of Carlisle (UK) is used as case study and a proof of concept. Implications of the hydrodynamic impact on the performance and functionality of the surrounding transport network are discussed. This research will help to fill the gap between current guidance for design and assessment of bridges within the overall transport system.

Maria Pregnolato et al.

 
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Maria Pregnolato et al.

Maria Pregnolato et al.

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Short summary
The interaction among flow, structure and network is complex, and yet to be fully understood. This study aims to establish rigorous practices of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for modelling hydrodynamic forces on inundated bridges, and understanding the consequences of such impact on the surrounding network. Objectives of this study are to model hydrodynamic forces as demand on the bridge structure, to advance a structural reliability and network-level analysis.
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