Local scour occurs in the immediate vicinity of structures as a result of impinging a bed with a high velocity flow. Prediction of scour depth has an important role in control structures management and water resource engineering issues, so a study into new heuristic expressions governing it is necessary. The present study aims to investigate different methods capabilities to estimate scour depth downstream of grade-control structures using field measurements from the literature. Accordingly, data-driven based feed forward neural network and gene expression programming techniques were selected for the investigation. Additionally, the optimum data-driven based scour depth models were compared with the corresponding physical–empirical based formulas. Three data categories corresponding to (a) scouring downstream of a ski-jump bucket, (b) sharp-crested weir, and (c) inclined slope controlled structure (as grade-control structures) were applied as reference patterns for developing and validating the applied models. A sensitivity analysis was also performed to identify the most influential parameters on scouring. The obtained results indicated that the applied methods have promising performance in estimating the scour depth downstream of spillways and control structures. Nevertheless, the applied data driven approaches show higher accuracy than the corresponding traditional formulas.
- gene expression programming
- grade-control structures
- local scour
- neural networks
- First received 22 December 2015.
- Accepted in revised form 12 May 2016.
- © IWA Publishing 2016