The temporal development of plunge pool scour was investigated using a novel experimental approach. Longitudinal profiles along the scour hole were recorded with an optical method to allow its definition at any time, from the initiation of scour to nearly the end-scour condition. The characteristics of the scour hole geometry were investigated, namely the maximum scour hole depth, the maximum ridge height, and their locations relative to the scour hole origin. It is demonstrated that the evolution is logarithmic, similar to that found for bridge pier and abutment scour. A distinction is further made between the developing and the developed scour hole phases. The main issue of the present research was to define the developed scour hole characteristics because the developing scour phase is influenced by turbulence features that may be difficult to assess. This work therefore allows for an appreciation of the temporal evolution of a scour process of engineering interest.
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