Prediction of Dam Overtopping Due to Mudflows

by P. J. Ryan, Bechtel Civil & Minerals Inc, San Francisco, CA, USA,
Rex A. Elder, Bechtel Civil & Minerals Inc, San Francisco, CA, USA,
S. R. M. Gardiner, Bechtel Civil & Minerals Inc, San Francisco, CA, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water for Resource Development

Abstract: The eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980 resulted in a small mudflow into Swift reservoir, which is located immediately south of the mountain. An engineering/geologic study was performed to develop a permanent operating procedure which would ensure that any future eruptions would not result in overtopping of the dam, and subsequent failure. The study addressed the maximum potential mudflow volume that could occur, and its distribution between tributaries; the rate, velocity, and time sequence of flow in each of the tributaries of the reservoir; and the maximum water surface elevation in the reservoir for specified pre-eruption operating conditions. The response of the reservoir to potential mudflows is discussed.

Subject Headings: Reservoirs | Landslides | Wave overtopping | Dam failures | Velocity distribution | Volcanic eruption | Mountains | Engineering profession

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