Dunex Scour Monitoring

As an undergraduate student, Jack Popelka, did not think he would have such an immersive and hands on research experience, but he should have known that with Dr. Stark, anything is possible!  It has been nonstop researching and applying the research to get this scour monitor mounted on a pile in Duck, North Carolina.

The first phase of the project and research was identifying how he wanted to attach this scour monitor and not lose it!  The first couple of designs proved to be fruitless, but the last design was simple yet elegant.  It included a channel beam with holes machined out on the sides to allow for attachment.  On top it had angle beams welded on to it.  It was light enough for the divers, yet sturdy enough to survive the nearshore wave conditions.  Finally, it was time to understand where on the pile to attach this monitor to obtain the best data.  Dr. Stark and Jack settled on the west side of the pile, facing the shore.

At Duck, there were some variations to the design, including shortening the angle beams, adding protection to the ratchet straps when it went through the channel beam, and adding large cable ties to ensure the scour monitor did not fall off during the weeks under water.

For the deployment, Jack was able to ride along on the LARC and watch the divers attach it.  The amphibious vehicle went right through the waves on the way out and was able to ride some of the waves on the way in.  The scour monitor was attached with no incidents and was on the pile for three full weeks, which included enduring post-depression Storm Melissa.

Jack will monitor and analyze the data for his first research paper.  He is really excited to see how this paper and research turns out with the possibility of using this as a starting point for his post graduate studies.

To read more about Dr. Nina Stark’s research, please visit her Research Group Blog: https://coastalgeotech.blogspot.com/