Abstract

Performances of screens in watercourses are investigated for dissipating energy of supercritical flows, capable of inducing scour or stabilising hydraulic jumps. Subsequent scouring pits are characterised by pit depth and pit length. Inherent processes are studied through laboratory tests by producing a set of empirical data to formulate a model of the scour for explaining subsequent processes. The experimental set-up comprises: (i) Froude number of supercritical flows (range: 3.5–8.0); (ii) particle densimetric Froude number (range: 2–10) using five granular samples; and (iii) two screen porosities (40% and 50%). Trained and tested artificial intelligence models explain the data by expressing depth and length of the pit through the following levels: Level 1: use the experimental data and test the models of: Sugeno fuzzy logic (SFL) and neuro-fuzzy (NF); and Level 2: use outputs of Level 1 models as inputs to support vector machine (SVM). The results reveal that the Level 2 model improves model performances compared with the single models with respect to R2, RMSE, Nash–Sutcliffe coefficient (NSC) and residual errors. While Level 1 models remain fit-for-purpose, the comparative improvement from Level 1 to Level 2 can be as high as 58% in terms of NSC for the testing phase.

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