Field Experiment in CEE 5974 in Collaboration with VDOT

The year could not end without a last field survey, part of the field research experience in CEE5874 – Coastal and Marine Geotechnics course taught by Dr. Stark. Not deterred by the prospect of a downpour, the research team took the challenge to undertake a preliminary study of scour on the bridge piers of the VA 114 bridge crossing the New River on November 26, 2018 supported by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).  

As usual, the class got the opportunity to play with the best toys (Portable Free Fall Penetrometer, Chirp Sonar, Side Scan, ADCP) that were used to collect sediment information around the bridge piers of the uppermost river bed layering, river flow data, and riverbed images. The results obtained after the four hour survey were promising. The portable free fall penetrometer proved suitable to map spatial variations in sediment strength and type, the chirp sonar displayed riverbed elevation change and soil strata, the side scan sonar displayed items like cobbles and boulders on the river bed, and the ADCP enabled a quick assessment of current flow conditions.

Massive gratitude to VDOT for giving us the opportunity to demonstrate our equipment at the bridge site, as well as providing support during the survey. Dennis Kiptoo

Happy Holidays from the Coastal and Marine Geotechnics @VT Team!

To read more about Dr. Nina Stark’s research, please visit her Research Group Blog: