Scour at Vertical Piles in Sand-Clay Mixtures under Waves

Subhasish Dey, Anders Helkjær, B. Mutlu Sumer, Jørgen Fredsøe

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Marine sediments often contain sand-clay mixtures in widely varying proportions. This study presents the results of equilibrium scour and time variation of scour depths at circular piles embedded vertically in clay alone and sand-clay mixed beds under waves. Experiments were conducted in a wave flume with different proportions of sand-clay mixtures as bed sediments. Test results for the cases of steady current and sand alone under waves are used as references. The equilibrium scour depth reduces with an increase in clay proportion n (by weight) in a sand-clay mixture. Interestingly, the scour depth reductions for n=0.3 and 1 are almost equal, suggesting that when the clay proportion in a sand-clay mixture becomes 0.3, the sand-clay mixture behaves as if it were a clay-alone mixture, in relation to scour depths. The dependency of equilibrium scour depth on the Keulegan-Carpenter number for different n-values can be expressed by an exponential law, using different coefficients and exponents. For time variation of scour, the nondimensional timescale increases with an increase in Keulegan-Carpenter number and clay proportion. However, unlike the near-equal scour depths, timescales are quite different for n=0.3 and 1. © 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)324-331
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Piles
  • Hydraulics
  • Erosion
  • Water waves
  • Scour
  • Wave velocity
  • Clays


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