Infiltration Study for Deep Foundations in Ephemeral Streams

Naresh C. Samtani

Infiltration Study for Deep Foundations in Ephemeral Streams


The duration of a flood event in an ephemeral stream is finite, ranging from a few hours to a few days. However, for design of deep foundations, an assumption is typically made by geotechnical specialists that at the time of a flood event all stream bed geomaterials are saturated and fully-buoyant. This assumption leads to larger deep foundations because full-buoyancy can significantly reduce the geomaterial resistances to applied loads. Consequently, a large increase in foundation investigation and construction costs can occur. This paper presents a case study that included an evaluation of the infiltration of transient flood waters into unsaturated geomaterials within an ephemeral stream bed. Considerable cost reductions were realized as a result of this evaluation. The presented approach permits a rational geotechnical evaluation of deep foundations in ephemeral streams.


Infiltration, Ephemeral, Bridge, Deep Foundation, Unsaturated, Pore Water Pressure, Flood, Scour


Samtani, N. C. (2020). Infiltration Study for Deep Foundations in Ephemeral Streams, Vol. 5, Issue 2, p.118-137. doi: 10.4417/IJGCH-05-02-04


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