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In-Situ Scour Testing Device (ISTD), State Demonstrations of Field Soil Tests, Lovelock, NV

FHWA-HRT-23-088.pdf (845.03 KB)

Publication Information

Publication Type:
Fact Sheet
Publication Number:

This fact sheet summarizes how the In-Situ Scour Testing Device (ISTD), an advanced system designed by the hydraulics research team at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) was used to measure the erosion resistance of fine-grained, cohesive soils directly in the field. The system features an innovative erosion head that, when inserted into a standard drill casing, can direct a horizontal radial water flow across the surface of the soil, resulting in erosion. The erosion resistance is measured in terms of critical shear stress, which, when coupled with the decay of hydraulic shear forces (water loads) with scour depth, is the basis of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) NextScour research initiative for improving the accuracy of future bridge scour estimates.

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) hosted the 10th ISTD field demonstration on State Route 396 at the bridge over the Humboldt River, located 2 mi north of Lovelock, which is about 90 mi northeast of Reno, NV. The demonstration was held on the south shoulder of the road at the west abutment. NDOT had scheduled the bridge for replacement due to its poor condition.



Recommended citation: Federal Highway Administration, In-Situ Scour Testing Device (ISTD), State Demonstrations of Field Soil Tests, Lovelock, NV
(Washington, DC: 2023)

Publishing Date:
June 2023
Posting Date:
Digital Object Identifier:
Alzamora, Daniel
Pagenkopf, James (ORCID: 0000-0001-5392-8628)
Publishing Office:
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
FHWA Program(s):
AMRP Program(s):
Accelerate the implementation and delivery of new innovations and technologies that result from highway research and development to benefit all aspects of highway transportation
Subject Area:
Bridges and other structures