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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Physical Modeling of Breach Formation -- Large Scale Field Tests

Authors
item Vaskinn, Kjetil - SWECO GRONER, NORWAY
item Lovoll, Aslak - NORCONSULT AS NORWAY
item Hoeg, Kaare - NORWEGIAN GEOTECHNICAL
item Morris, Mark - HR WALLINGFORD, UK
item Hanson, Gregory
item Hassan, Mohamed Ahmed - HR WALLINGFORD, UK

Submitted to: State Dam Safety Officials Association Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2004
Publication Date: September 30, 2004
Citation: Vaskinn, K.A., Lovoll, A., Hoeg, K., Morris, M., Hanson, G.J., Hassan, M.A. 2004. Physical modeling of breach formation -- large scale field tests. In: Dam Safety 2004. Proceedings of the Association State Dam Safety Officials, September 2004, Phoenix, Arizona. 2004 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Detailed information on formation processes and flow releases from an earthen dam failure are rarely recorded. Consequently, in order to support computer model development to predict dam failures, field and laboratory tests of dam failures created by overtopping the dam and also by causing leakage through the dam have been conducted. These tests have been conducted in Northern Norway on 5-6 m high dams constructed of materials typically used in earthen dams such as; rock, clay, and glacial moraine. These large-scale field tests are part of a Norwegian research project and a European Commission project for the purposes of learning more about dam failures and how to make better predictions about dam failures. An overview, initial observations, and conclusions from these large-scale field tests are presented in this paper. The data from these tests are unique and valuable because they represent near prototype scale embankments that provide details on dam failure processes and resulting floodwaters.

Technical Abstract: During extreme flooding and internal erosion failure events, detailed data on flow and formation processes of breaches through embankments/dams are rarely recorded. Consequently, to support numerical model development, testing, and verification, field and laboratory tests of embankment breaches created through overtopping and piping have been conducted. Controlled field tests of rock fill, clay, and glacial moraine embankments, 5-6 m high, have been conducted in Northern Norway. The large-scale field tests are both part of a Norwegian research project called Stability and Breaching of Embankments Dams and an EC project called IMPACT. An overview and initial observations/conclusions from these large-scale field tests are presented in this paper. The data from these tests are unique and valuable because they represent near prototype scale embankments that provide details on breach formation processes and flow.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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