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  • Enhanced breach modelling: piping in layered embankments
  • Enhanced breach modelling: piping in layered embankments
  • Enhanced breach modelling: piping in layered embankments
  • Enhanced breach modelling: piping in layered embankments
  • Enhanced breach modelling: piping in layered embankments

Enhanced breach modelling: piping in layered embankments

For well over a decade, HR Wallingford has been at the forefront of developing understanding of breaches in dams and flood embankments. Our work involves extensive full-scale field measurements, supported by smaller-scale laboratory experiments, and the knowledge we have gained has been used to develop a suite of numerical models that are capable of simulating the physical processes of breach development.

Our aim has been to expand the range of physical processes that are included within the numerical models and to improve on the accuracy with which breach formation can be modelled.

We investigated a new ‘failure mode’, to represent piping processes in embankments and dams consisting of layers which differ in soil properties. We considered a number of different types of layout, and chose a practical approach to represent the internal erosion processes. We then evaluated the new failure mode by running a range of tests with various layer configurations, including homogeneous embankments. The model outputs have been compared with our established in-house breach software for piping in homogeneous embankments of comparable erodibility. Favourable results were achieved, which gave us confidence in the new failure mode.

The new failure mode was integrated into our in-house breach software, EMBREA. This new version of the software is a state of the art, able to model two different types of failure mechanism with layered embankments. This is well suited for application in practice to real-world dams and embankments that are often not homogeneous.

Authors Mohamed Hassan, Julien Lhomme, Mark Wetton, Myron Van Damme, Craig Goff
Keywords Piping, internal erosion, layers, layered embankment, breach, dam
Completed 2012

References

FloodProbe (2012). Action 3.1.1 Internal erosion, Comprehensive report.

Hanson, GJ, and Cook KR (2004). Apparatus, Test Procedures, and Analytical Methods to Measure Soil Erodibility in Situ, Applied Engineering in Agriculture, Vol. 20, 455-462.

Mohamed, MAA (2002). Embankment breach formation and modelling methods. PhD thesis, The Open University, UK.

Morris MW (2012). Breaching of Earth Embankments and Dams. PhD thesis, The Open University, UK.

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Craig Goff

Craig Goff

Technical Lead, Dams and Reservoirs

+44 (0)1491 822480

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