Landslide Generated Water Wave Model

by Donald C. Raney, Assoc. Prof. of Engrg. Mechanics; The Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala.,
H. Lee Butler, Research Physicist; U.S. Army Engr. Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Miss.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 9, Pg. 1269-1282

Document Type: Journal Paper


A numerical model is developed for simulating the development and propagation of landslide generated water waves in reservoirs. The numerical model is based upon a finite difference representation of the depth averaged hydrodynamic equations. The landslide is formulated as a moving boundary condition, propagating into the reservoir and accelerating the fluid due to physical displacement and viscous drag. Arbitrary reservoir geometry and landslide parameters can be considered. The numerical model results are compared with experimental results obtained on a 1:120 undistorted scale physical model of Libby Dam and Lake Koocanusa in Montana. Landslides were considered reflecting a wide range of landslide volumes and velocities. The wave heights predicted by the numerical model are in good agreement with the wave heights observed in the physical model.

Subject Headings: Numerical models | Water waves | Physical models | Reservoirs | Landslides | Hydrologic models | Wave generation | Simulation models | Montana | United States

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