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Title: WinDAM C earthen embankment internal erosion analysis software

item VISSER, KARL - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)
item Tejral, Ronald
item NEILSEN, MITCHELL - Kansas State University

Submitted to: Joint Federal Interagency Sedimentation and Hydrologic Modeling
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2015
Publication Date: 4/21/2015
Citation: Visser, K., Tejral, R.D., Neilsen, M.L. 2015. WinDAM C earthen embankment internal erosion analysis software. Proceedings of the Joint Federal Interagency Sedimentation and Hydrologic Modeling Conference, April 19-23, 2015, Reno, Nevada. 10 p. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Two primary causes of dam failure are overtopping and internal erosion. For the purpose of evaluating dam safety for existing earthen embankment dams and proposed earthen embankment dams, Windows Dam Analysis Modules C (WinDAM C) software will simulate either internal erosion or erosion resulting from an overtopping event. WinDAM C models erosion failure of a homogeneous embankment. Future expansion includes non-homogeneous embankments, and embankment protection analysis. The four essential functions of the software are: 1) hydraulically routes one input hydrograph through, around, and over a single earthen dam, 2) estimates internal erosion and potential breaching of an earthen embankment dam, 3) estimates erosion of the earthen embankment caused by overtopping of the dam embankment, and 4) estimates auxiliary spillway erosion in up to three earthen or vegetated auxiliary spillways. The user imports an inflow hydrograph into WinDAM C and selects either internal erosion analysis or overtopping analysis. Regarding internal erosion within the earthen embankment, the user sets the elevation and initial size of the internal erosion conduit. WinDAM C initially assumes a horizontal, rectangular conduit shape. The internal erosion conduit grows larger as flow erodes embankment material. The erosion may breach the embankment and drain the reservoir. Since the research has been completed, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Kansas State University (KSU) are currently verifying and validating a working version of WinDAM C, which should be released for external evaluation and testing in 2015.