Influence of a Sand Layer on Headcut Advance

by Kerry M. Robinson, (A.M.ASCE), Hydraulic Engineering Research Unit, Stillwater, United States,
Gregory J. Hanson, (A.M.ASCE), Hydraulic Engineering Research Unit, Stillwater, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The presence of an erodible material layer in the soil profile has been observed to influence headcut movement in earth emergency spillways. Large-scale flume tests were conducted to examine headcut advance through a cohesive soil with and without a sand layer in the profile. The sand layer was observed to accelerate the erosion process by being readily removed by the flow, thus undercutting the overlying material. Once unsupported, the overlying material failed by mass wasting. As the erodibility of the overlying material increases, the influence of the sand layer diminishes.

Subject Headings: Layered soils | Soil analysis | Soil water | Sand (material) | Materials processing | Earth materials | Spillways | Risk management

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