Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Committee Member

Moses Karakouzian

Second Committee Member

Donald Hayes

Third Committee Member

Mohamed Kaseko

Fourth Committee Member

Douglas Rigby

Fifth Committee Member

Samir Moujaes

Number of Pages



Bridge deck splashing causes deterioration to the bridge structure and renders the bridge unsafe for motorist and pedestrians. The traditional countermeasure for bridge deck splashing is pier extension, the pier extension moves the pier wave away from the bridge deck, but retrofitting existing bridges with pier extensions is costly. This research proposes the bulbous pier concept as an alternative to pier extension.

The decrease in the pier wave produced by the bulb is due to energy subtracted by the bulb via two forces, the viscous resistance, and the wave-making resistance. The proposed mathematical model for the bulbous pier design follows the model used for a mono hull ship. Under the mono hull model, the bulb length follows under the region were the viscous resistance is dominant. This allows for omitting the wave-making resistance. Since the wave-making resistance is obtained via modeling, the proposed set of equation do not requires modeling to calculate the pier wave reduction.

The proposed equations to calculate non-bulb pier wave height (PLnb) are based in the assumption that the water energy is converted into potential energy at the pier- bulb intersection and determines the pier wave height. This assumption ignores the complex water-air interactions and the energy losses due to the water flow change of direction. The proposed equation introduces a correction factor, this factor account for the underestimation of the PLnb and provides a safety factor in the design bulbous piers.


Bridges – Floors; Bridges – Foundations and piers; Bridges – Maintenance and repair; Bulbous pier; Water waves


Civil Engineering | Structural Engineering | Transportation Engineering

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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