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Title: Development of CCHE2D embankment break model

item JAI, YAFEI - University Of Mississippi
item Hunt, Sherry

Submitted to: Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2015
Publication Date: 4/21/2015
Citation: Jai, Y., Hunt, S. 2015. Development of CCHE2D embankment break model. Proceedings of the Joint Federal Interagency Sedimentation and Hydrologic Modeling Conference, April 19-23, 2015, Reno, Nevada. 12 p. Available:

Interpretive Summary: Dam and/or levee breach can have a significant impact on residential communities and infrastructure located in the vicinity of the dam. Overtopping and internal erosion are the two most common failure models for embankment dams. To have a better understanding of the dam failure process, engineers and scientists rely on physical modeling and observations made during the erosion process. Additionally, engineers and scientists develop simplified and/or practical computational models to simulate the dam failure process. The goal of this study was develop such a computational tool and compare it to experimental data collected from physical models of dam failures. Hopefully, computational models can be further improved and used for real world flooding analysis and predictions in the near future.

Technical Abstract: Flooding due to breaching of earth embankments often results in detrimental impact on the people and their properties in the flooding zone. The embankment breaching process is often caused by overtopping of excessive water in a reservoir or a river. This study is to develop a practical numerical model for simulating overtopping and embankment breaking process. To achieve the goal, the key physical-empirical dam breaking mechanism of earth embankment is adopted and implemented into CCHE2D surface flow model. A special function describing the shape of the breaching channel profile is introduced which significantly simplifies the breaching modeling work. The developed model is validated using experiment data. The simulated flooding hydrograph, headcut migration and breaching embankment profiles agree well with the observed data. Because this is a 2D model, the development makes it possible to simulate breaching in a more complex condition and study multiple embankment breaches at the same time which broadens the applicability of the embankment break model significantly.