Aids for the Hazard Classification of Small Dams

by James R. Morris, Arizona Dep of Water Resources, Phoenix, AZ, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The last few years have seen a large growth in the tools available to the engineer to better determine the risk of failure in earth dams. One of the models developed is the National Weather Service BREACH model, written by Dr. D. L. Fread of the NWS Hydrologic Research Center. BREACH is a physically-based model that uses soil parameters along with sediment transport and hydraulic modelling methods to evaluate the failure of an earth embankment. The author has modified the BREACH model to make multiple runs for various ranges of dam height and volume during a 'clear day' failure. The data obtained was analyzed to explore the possibilities of developing a series of 'learning curves' that could be utilized as a guide in determining the risk of failure of small earth dams.

Subject Headings: Dam failures | Earthfill dams | Failure analysis | Disasters and hazards | Sediment transport | Embankment dams | Hydrologic models | Hydraulic models

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