Predicting Human Instability in Flood Flows

by S. R. Abt, Colorado State Univ, United States,
R. J. Wittler, Colorado State Univ, United States,
A. Taylor, Colorado State Univ, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The delineation of high flood hazard zones within a flood plain is usually independent of the parameters that constitute a life threatening situation. In order to define human instability in high flow hazard areas, a study was conducted to identify when an adult human could not stand or maneuver in a simulated flood flow. A series of human subjects (90-201 lbs) were placed in a recirculating flume and tested to determine the velocity and depth of flow which caused instability. A relationship was developed to estimate the product number at which a human subject becomes unstable as a function of the height and weight of the subject.

Subject Headings: Flow simulation | Human factors | Floods | Water flow | Parameters (statistics) | Lifeline systems | Fluid velocity | Fluid-structure interaction

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