My research project
Instream wood accumulation at bridges: Exploring drivers and modelling their effect in UK rivers
My PhD research focuses on the analysis of instream wood transport and accumulation at bridge sections in the UK. Instream wood-related scour, and hydrodynamically-induced structural instability is a primary cause of bridge failures all over the world. A number of guidelines for assessing risk to hydraulic infrastructure, particularly scour risk, have been developed and being used by industry. These guides have concentrated mainly on the scour hydrodynamics at the bridge foundation, only adopting a simplistic approach to account for wood blockage. There is still no reliable way to predict instream wood transport and deposition patterns in streams.
My PhD research will survey and compile issues of wood accumulation in bridge sections in the UK, and relate them to catchment, watercourse and bridge design characteristics. The research includes the developing of a detailed numerical model of wood transport and accumulation at a specific river reach in Devon. The model will provide a tool for the analysis of instream wood-related flood risk and bridge risk assessment, and will inform bridge design in relation to instream wood accumulation.