Integrating Real-time Bridge Scouring Monitoring System with Mobile Location-Based Services

Yung-Bin Lin, Kuo-Chun Chang, Chun-Chung Chen, Shih-Cheng Wong, Lu-sheng Lee, Yung-Kang Wang, Meng-Huang Gu


Typhoons and torrential rains not only erode river beds and coasts and damage river-crossing structures, but also affect the geomorphology and topography of rivers and coasts. Additionally, typhoons and torrential rains cause debris flows and flooding in metropolitan areas and threaten the safety of people’s lives and properties. Disaster prevention and reduction of damage caused by typhoons and torrential rains have always been a crucial task of government agencies. Bridges in Taiwan are generally old and have insufficient shock resistance; some bridge foundations are also severely eroded and exposed. Because of global climate changes in recent years, rainfall has become comparatively heavy and rapid. Furthermore, the soil in mountain areas has softened because of factors such as earthquakes or human developments. Debris rushes down with rain every time a torrential rain strikes, significantly impacting the safety of bridges downstream. Although government bridge management units have made budget plans to progressively renovate dangerous old bridges, these bridges are still being use for traffic and transportation. These dangerous old bridges pose a serious threat to the safety of people when an earthquake, typhoon, or flood occurs. During typhoons and floods, increased water levels and changes of the scouring depths have dramatic effects on the safety of bridges. The bridge maintenance unit currently uses the water level and water flow conditions as references when determining whether to close a bridge; however, this is not a good permanent solution. A bridge scour monitoring and warning system that is stable, reliable, and operates normally under flood attacks is required for on-site installation and verification. In recent years, the applied technologies of smart phones have expanded beyond entertainment and communication. Mobile communications are used to transmit relevant information to bridge maintenance and management units and road users when a bridge is potentially damaged. The instant conveying of information allows the bridge management units to implement instant disaster rescue response measures and to notify road users to avoid the dangerous road sections, protecting people’s lives and properties.


Location Based Service; bridge scour monitoring and warning system; flooding; wireless sensor network

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