Researchers study ‘smart’ rocks use for detecting bridge damage

The leading cause of bridge collapse in the U.S. is scour, an erosion process where water flow carries away river bed deposits and creates scour holes around the bridge pier or abutment. Floods intensify these scour effects and can quickly make the bridge unstable.
Smart rocks placed at the base of bridge foundations are designed to roll to the deepest point of a scour hole and act as field agents to relay scour depths.