A prediction of meander migration based on large-scale flume tests in clay
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Meander migration is a complex and dynamic process of the lateral movement of a river due to erosion on one bank and deposition on the opposite bank. As a result, the channel migrates in a lateral direction, which might be a major concern for the safety of bridges during their life span of 75 years. Although there are several existing models for predicting meander migration of a river, none of them are based on the physical model tests on a specific type of soil. A total of eight flume tests are conducted to develop a prediction equation of meander migration in clay. The test results of migration rate follow a hyperbolic function, and spatial distribution of the maximum migration distance is fitted with the Pearson IV function. The proposed equations of the initial migration rate and the maximum migration distance, obtained by a multiple regression technique, are validated with the laboratory data. A new methodology for risk analysis is developed to process a number of predicted channel locations based on each future hydrograph generated in such a way that all the hydrographs have the same probability of occurrence. As the output from risk analysis, a CDF map is created for a whole river representing a general trend of migration movement along with the probability associated with new location of the river. In addition, a separate screen is generated with a CDF plot for a given bridge direction so that bridge engineers can read a specific migration distance along the bridge corresponding to the target risk level (e.g. 1 %). The newly developed components through this research are incorporated with the other components in the MEANDER program which is a stand-alone program and the final outcome of the research team. Verification study of the MEANDER program is conducted with full-scale field data at the Brazos River at SH 105, Texas. The prediction results matched quite well with the measured field data. However, a more extensive verification study for other sites is highly recommended.