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ARS Home » Plains Area » Stillwater, Oklahoma » Hydraulic Engineering Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #270479

Title: Earthen embankment breaching

Author
item Wu, Weiming - University Of Mississippi
item Altinakar, Mustafa - University Of Mississippi
item Al-riffai, Mahmoud - University Of Ottawa
item Bergman, Nathaniel - Israel Institute Of Technology
item Bradford, Scott - Naval Research Laboratory
item Cao, Zhixian - Wuhan University
item Chen, Qin - Louisiana State University
item Constantinescu, Serban - University Of Iowa
item Duan, Jennifer - University Of Arizona
item Gee, D - Us Army Corp Of Engineers (USACE)
item Greimann, Blair - Us Bureau Of Reclamation
item Hanson, Gregory
item Huddleston, David - Tennessee Technological University
item Hughes, Steven - Us Army Corp Of Engineers (USACE)
item Imran, Jasim - University Of South Carolina
item Jia, Yafei - University Of Mississippi
item Jorgeson, Jeffrey - Us Army Corp Of Engineers (USACE)
item Klumpp, Cassie - Us Bureau Of Reclamation
item Lai, Yong - Us Bureau Of Reclamation
item Langendoen, Eddy
item Moreda, Fekadu - National Weather Service
item Morvan, Herve - University Of Nottingham
item Pak, Jay - Us Army Corp Of Engineers (USACE)
item Peters, Patrik - Flanders Institute Of Biotechnology (VIB)
item Sanders, Brett - University Of California
item Scott, Steve - Us Army Corp Of Engineers (USACE)
item Soares-frazao, Sandra - Catholic University Of Leuven
item Song, Chung - University Of Mississippi
item Teal, Martin - West Consultants
item Tsubaki, Ryota - University Of Hiroshima
item Wahl, Tony - Us Bureau Of Reclamation
item Weston, David - Us Army Corp Of Engineers (USACE)
item Zech, Yves - Catholic University Of Leuven
item Zhang, Limin - Hong Kong University Of Science

Submitted to: Journal of Hydraulic Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2011
Publication Date: 12/1/2011
Citation: ASCE/EWRI Task Committee on Dam/Levee Breaching. 2011. Earthen embankment breaching. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering. 137(12):1549-1564.

Interpretive Summary: Dams, levees, dikes, and barriers play very important roles in flood defense. Many are also used for water supply, power generation, transportation, sediment retention, etc. Since these structures can sustain only limited safety levels and are subject to decay, they may fail due to various reasons. Failure of these structures poses significant flood risks to people and property downstream. Therefore, understanding and prediction of embankment failure processes are crucial for water infrastructure management. In the last few decades, a number of laboratory experiments and field investigations have been carried out and many empirical, analytical, and numerical models have been developed to first understand and then simulate the earthen embankment breaching processes. This paper provides an overview of the state of the art of several important issues in this area including; earthen embankment breaching processes, data collection, breach modeling, flood routing, model limitations and uncertainties, and potential future development.

Technical Abstract: A large number of embankment structures, including dams, levees, dikes, and barriers, have been built by humans. These structures play a very important role in flood defense, while many are also used for water supply, power generation, transportation, sediment retention, etc. Since these structures can sustain only limited safety levels and are subject to decay, they may fail due to various triggering mechanisms particularly with a high probability of failure under extreme conditions. Failure of these structures poses significant flood risks to people and property in the inundation area and cause interruption of services provided. Therefore, understanding and prediction of embankment failure processes are crucial for water infrastructure management. Great progress has been made recently to investigate embankment breaching processes through laboratory and field experiments and real-world case studies. A number of parametric simplified, and detailed multidimensional physically-based embankment breach models have been established in the past decades, but the prediction with these models involves significant uncertainties. The biggest limitation of the existing breach models is quantifying erosion rates or erodibility of cohesive soils and sediment entrainment under embankment break/breaching flows. A number of laboratory experiments and field investigations have been carried out and many empirical, analytical, and numerical models have been developed to first understand and then simulate the earthen embankment breaching processes. This paper provides an overview of the state of the art of several important related issues, including the earthen embankment breaching processes, data collection, breach modeling, flood routing, model limitations and uncertainties, and potential future development.