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Drive-by scour monitoring of railway bridges using a wavelet-based approach

Fitzgerald, Paul C.; Malekjafarian, Abdollah; Cantero, Daniel; OBrien, Eugene J.; Prendergast, Luke J.

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Paul C. Fitzgerald

Abdollah Malekjafarian

Daniel Cantero

Eugene J. OBrien


This paper numerically investigates the feasibility of using bogie acceleration measurements from a passing train to detect the presence of bridge scour. The Continuous Wavelet Transform is used to process the simulated acceleration measurements for a number of train passages over a scoured bridge, with scour represented as a local reduction in stiffness at a given pier. Average Wavelet coefficients are calculated for a batch of train runs passing over the same bridge. A scour indicator is developed as the difference in average coefficients between batches from the healthy bridge and when the bridge is damaged by scour. The method is assessed using a blind test, whereby one author simulated trains passing over a bridge in various states of health. The remaining authors were provided only with the train accelerations and had to predict the state of scour without any prior knowledge. This scour indicator performed quite well in the blind test for normal vehicle operating conditions.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 15, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 19, 2019
Publication Date Jul 15, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 20, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 20, 2020
Journal Engineering Structures
Print ISSN 0141-0296
Electronic ISSN 1873-7323
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 191
Pages 1-11
Keywords Civil and Structural Engineering
Public URL
Publisher URL


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