Mechanics of Embankment Erosion During Overflow

by David C. Ralston, Soil Conservation Service, Washington, DC, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


Thousands of dams built in the United States have a potential to be overtopped by flood flows. It is necessary to understand the mechanics of embankment erosion in order to evaluate the potential operation of protective measures. The erosion of cohesive soil occurs in a single or series of stair step cascades similar to gully head cuts. Erosion analysis by the tractive stress procedure is not consistant with the process occurring. Hydrodynamic and soil mass wasting processes are involved.

Subject Headings: Erosion | Overflow | Stress analysis | Embankment dams | Wave overtopping | Dams | Floods | Potential flow | United States

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