This paper provides a practical stochastic method by which the maximum equilibrium scour depth around vertical piles exposed to long-crested (2D) and short-crested (3D) nonlinear random waves can be derived. The approach is based on assuming the waves to be a stationary narrow-band random process, adopting the Forristall wave crest height distribution (Forristall, 2000, “Wave Crest Distributions: Observations and Second-Order Theory,” J. Phys. Oceanogr., 30, pp. 1931–1943) representing both 2D and 3D nonlinear random waves, and using the regular wave formulas for scour depth by Sumer et al. (1992, “Scour Around Vertical Pile in Waves,” J. Waterway, Port, Coastal, Ocean Eng., 114(5), pp. 599–641). An example calculation is provided. Tentative approaches to related random wave-induced scour cases are also suggested.

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