Substructure Sensing in a Rail Bridge

Helsin Wang, Chih Hsin Hu, Hsin Chu Tsai, Chung Yue Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Lacking substructure information usually challenges bridge agencies when evaluating the flood or earthquake resistance of bridges in disaster-prone areas. Appropriate substructure inspection techniques are essential for bridge engineers to develop repair strategies efficiently and reasonably allocate maintenance funds. In this article, the electrical resistivity tomography technique was introduced to the foundation inspection of a rail bridge in Taiwan. Different survey layouts were chosen to inspect the pile bent substructures. Initially, the investigation line parallel to the traffic direction indicated an unexpected substructure pattern. Such a shallow low-resistivity anomaly crossing over more than ten pile bents severely interfered with the foundation depth inspection. Using two alternative investigation lines perpendicular to the previous survey direction successfully separated this low-resistivity zone into two single parts. One deeper low-resistivity contour located right below bridge position was identified as the foundation depths. Another shallow vertical-shape low-resistivity zone was identified as abandoned temporal sheet piles. This investigation case also reveals that two survey lines in different directions are suggested to separate the target substructure from unexpected embedded anomalies effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Transportation Geotechnics IV - Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Transportation Geotechnics
EditorsErol Tutumluer, Soheil Nazarian, Imad Al-Qadi, Issam I. A. Qamhia
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783030772338
StatePublished - 2022
Event4th International Conference on Transportation Geotechnics, ICTG 2021 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 23 May 202126 May 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


Conference4th International Conference on Transportation Geotechnics, ICTG 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Depth inspection
  • Electrical resistivity tomography
  • Pile bent
  • Rail bridge


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