American Society of Civil Engineers


Simplified Method for the Characterization of the Hydrograph following a Sudden Partial Dam Break


by Marco Pilotti, (corresponding author), (Associate Professor, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Architettura, Territorio e Ambiente—DICATA, Università degli Studi di Brescia, Via Branze 43, 25123 Brescia, Italy E-mail: marco.pilotti@ing.unibs.it), Massimo Tomirotti, (Associate Professor, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Architettura, Territorio e Ambiente—DICATA, Università degli Studi di Brescia, Via Branze 43, 25123 Brescia, Italy. E-mail: massimo.tomirotti@ing.unibs.it), Giulia Valerio, Ph.D., (Student, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Architettura, Territorio e Ambiente—DICATA, Università degli Studi di Brescia, Via Branze 43, 25123 Brescia, Italy. E-mail: giulia.valerio@ing.unibs.it), and Baldassare Bacchi, (Full Professor, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Architettura, Territorio e Ambiente—DICATA, Università degli Studi di Brescia, Via Branze 43, 25123 Brescia, Italy. E-mail: bacchi@ing.unibs.it)

Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 136, No. 10, October 2010, pp. 693-704, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0000231)

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This paper presents a simplified approach to the characterization of the hydrograph following the partial collapse of concrete gravity dams. The proposed approach uses a simplified representation of the reservoir geometry and is based on the numerical solution of shallow water equations to study the two-dimensional evolution of the water surface within the reservoir. The numerical results are made dimensionless and reorganized so as to compute the peak discharge, the duration and the recession limb of the dam break hydrograph. The proposed practical approach provides a quite satisfactory reproduction of the computed hydrograph for a wide set of realistic situations that have been simulated in detail.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Dam failures
Shallow water
Numerical models
Simulation
Outflow
Hydrographs

Author Keywords:
Dam failure
Dam breaches
Shallow water
Numerical simulation
Outflow