Fig. 5. The predicted shapes of initial breach (a) Rectangular (b) V-notch. Fig. 6. Dam breaching stages.

공간적 제방댐 붕괴를 통한 최대 유출량 조사

Mahmoud T.GhonimMagdy H.MowafyMohamed N.SalemAshrafJatwaryFaculty of Engineering, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44519, Egypt


Investigating the breach outflow hydrograph is an essential task to conduct mitigation plans and flood warnings. In the present study, the spatial dam breach is simulated by using a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model, FLOW-3D. The model parameters were adjusted by making a comparison with a previous experimental model. The different parameters (initial breach shape, dimensions, location, and dam slopes) are studied to investigate their effects on dam breaching. The results indicate that these parameters have a significant impact. The maximum erosion rate and peak outflow for the rectangular shape are higher than those for the V-notch by 8.85% and 5%, respectively. Increasing breach width or decreasing depth by 5% leads to increasing maximum erosion rate by 11% and 15%, respectively. Increasing the downstream slope angle by 4° leads to an increase in both peak outflow and maximum erosion rate by 2.0% and 6.0%, respectively.

유출 유출 수문곡선을 조사하는 것은 완화 계획 및 홍수 경보를 수행하는 데 필수적인 작업입니다. 본 연구에서는 3차원 전산유체역학 모델인 FLOW-3D를 사용하여 공간 댐 붕괴를 시뮬레이션합니다. 이전 실험 모델과 비교하여 모델 매개변수를 조정했습니다.

다양한 매개변수(초기 붕괴 형태, 치수, 위치 및 댐 경사)가 댐 붕괴에 미치는 영향을 조사하기 위해 연구됩니다. 결과는 이러한 매개변수가 상당한 영향을 미친다는 것을 나타냅니다. 직사각형 형태의 최대 침식율과 최대 유출량은 V-notch보다 각각 8.85%, 5% 높게 나타났습니다.

위반 폭을 늘리거나 깊이를 5% 줄이면 최대 침식률이 각각 11% 및 15% 증가합니다. 하류 경사각을 4° 증가시키면 최대 유출량과 최대 침식률이 각각 2.0% 및 6.0% 증가합니다.


Spatial dam breach; FLOW-3D; Overtopping erosion; Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)

1. Introduction

There are many purposes for dam construction, such as protection from flood disasters, water storage, and power generationEmbankment failures may have a catastrophic impact on lives and infrastructure in the downstream regions. One of the most common causes of embankment dam failure is overtopping. Once the overtopping of the dam begins, the breach formation will start in the dam body then end with the dam failure. This failure occurs within a very short time, which threatens to be very dangerous. Therefore, understanding and modeling the embankment breaching processes is essential for conducting mitigation plans, flood warnings, and forecasting flood damage.

The analysis of the dam breaching process is implemented by different techniques: comparative methods, empirical models with dimensional and dimensionless solutions, physical-based models, and parametric models. These models were described in detail [1]Parametric modeling is commonly used to simulate breach growth as a time-dependent linear process and calculate outflow discharge from the breach using hydraulics principles [2]. Alhasan et al. [3] presented a simple one-dimensional mathematical model and a computer code to simulate the dam breaching process. These models were validated by small dams breaching during the floods in 2002 in the Czech Republic. Fread [4] developed an erosion model (BREACH) based on hydraulics principles, sediment transport, and soil mechanics to estimate breach size, time of formation, and outflow discharge. Říha et al. [5] investigated the dam break process for a cascade of small dams using a simple parametric model for piping and overtopping erosion, as well as a 2D shallow-water flow model for the flood in downstream areas. Goodarzi et al. [6] implemented mathematical and statistical methods to assess the effect of inflows and wind speeds on the dam’s overtopping failure.

Dam breaching studies can be divided into two main modes of erosion. The first mode is called “planar dam breach” where the flow overtops the whole dam width. While the second mode is called “spatial dam breach” where the flow overtops through the initial pilot channel (i.e., a channel created in the dam body). Therefore, the erosion will be in both vertical and horizontal directions [7].

The erosion process through the embankment dams occurs due to the shear stress applied by water flows. The dam breaching evolution can be divided into three stages [8][9], but Y. Yang et al. [10] divided the breach development into five stages: Stage I, the seepage erosion; Stage II, the initial breach formation; Stage III, the head erosion; Stage IV, the breach expansion; and Stage V, the re-equilibrium of the river channel through the breach. Many experimental tests have been carried out on non-cohesive embankment dams with an initial breach to examine the effect of upstream inflow discharges on the longitudinal profile evolution and the time to inflection point [11].

Zhang et al. [12] studied the effect of changing downstream slope angle, sediment grain size, and dam crest length on erosion rates. They noticed that increasing dam crest length and decreasing downstream slope angle lead to decreasing sediment transport rate. While the increase in sediment grain size leads to an increased sediment transport rate at the initial stages. Höeg et al. [13] presented a series of field tests to investigate the stability of embankment dams made of various materials. Overtopping and piping were among the failure tests carried out for the dams composed of homogeneous rock-fill, clay, or gravel with a height of up to 6.0 m. Hakimzadeh et al. [14] constructed 40 homogeneous cohesive and non-cohesive embankment dams to study the effect of changing sediment diameter and dam height on the breaching process. They also used genetic programming (GP) to estimate the breach outflow. Refaiy et al. [15] studied different scenarios for the downstream drain geometry, such as length, height, and angle, to minimize the effect of piping phenomena and therefore increase dam safety.

Zhu et al. [16] examined the effect of headcut erosion on dam breach growth, especially in the case of cohesive dams. They found that the breach growth in non-cohesive embankments is slower than cohesive embankments due to the little effect of headcut. Schmocker and Hager [7] proposed a relationship for estimating peak outflow from the dam breach process.(1)QpQin-1=1.7exp-20hc23d5013H0

where: Qp = peak outflow discharge.

Qin = inflow discharge.

hc = critical flow depth.

d50 = mean sediment diameter.

Ho = initial dam height.

Yu et al. [17] carried out an experimental study for homogeneous non-cohesive embankment dams in a 180° bending rectangular flume to determine the effect of overtopping flows on breaching formation. They found that the main factors influencing breach formation are water level, river discharge, and embankment material diameter.

Wu et al. [18] carried out a series of experiments to investigate the effect of breaching geometry on both non-cohesive and cohesive embankment dams in a U-bend flume due to overtopping flows. In the case of non-cohesive embankments, the non-symmetrical lateral expansion was noticed during the breach formation. This expansion was described by a coefficient ranging from 2.7 to 3.3.

The numerical models of the dam breach can be categorized according to different parameters, such as flow dimensions (1D, 2D, or 3D), flow governing equations, and solution methods. The 1D models are mainly used to predict the outflow hydrograph from the dam breach. Saberi et al. [19] applied the 1D Saint-Venant equation, which is solved by the finite difference method to investigate the outflow hydrograph during dam overtopping failure. Because of the ability to study dam profile evolution and breach formation, 2D models are more applicable than 1D models. Guan et al. [20] and Wu et al. [21] employed both 2D shallow water equations (SWEs) and sediment erosion equations, which are solved by the finite volume method to study the effect of the dam’s geometry parameters on outflow hydrograph and dam profile evolution. Wang et al. [22] also proposed a second-order hybrid-type of total variation diminishing (TVD) finite-difference to estimate the breach outflow by solving the 2D (SWEs). The accuracy of (SWEs) for both vertical flow contraction and surface roughness has been assessed [23]. They noted that the accuracy of (SWEs) is acceptable for milder slopes, but in the case of steeper slopes, modelers should be more careful. Generally, the accuracy of 2D models is still low, especially with velocity distribution over the flow depth, lateral momentum exchange, density-driven flows, and bottom friction [24]. Therefore, 3D models are preferred. Larocque et al. [25] and Yang et al. [26] started to use three-dimensional (3D) models that depend on the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations.

Previous experimental studies concluded that there is no clear relationship between the peak outflow from the dam breach and the initial breach characteristics. Some of these studies depend on the sharp-crested weir fixed at the end of the flume to determine the peak outflow from the breach, which leads to a decrease in the accuracy of outflow calculations at the microscale. The main goals of this study are to carry out a numerical simulation for a spatial dam breach due to overtopping flows by using (FLOW-3D) software to find an empirical equation for the peak outflow discharge from the breach and determine the worst-case that leads to accelerating the dam breaching process.

2. Numerical simulation

The current study for spatial dam breach is simulated by using (FLOW-3D) software [27], which is a powerful computational fluid dynamics (CFD) program.

2.1. Geometric presentations

A stereolithographic (STL) file is prepared for each change in the initial breach geometry and dimensions. The CAD program is useful for creating solid objects and converting them to STL format, as shown in Fig. 1.

2.2. Governing equations

The governing equations for water flow are three-dimensional Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations (RANS).

The continuity equation:(2)∂ui∂xi=0

The momentum equation:(3)∂ui∂t+1VFuj∂ui∂xj=1ρ∂∂xj-pδij+ν∂ui∂xj+∂uj∂xi-ρu`iu`j¯

where u is time-averaged velocity,ν is kinematic viscosity, VF is fractional volume open to flow, p is averaged pressure and -u`iu`j¯ are components of Reynold’s stress. The Volume of Fluid (VOF) technique is used to simulate the free surface profile. Hirt et al. [28] presented the VOF algorithm, which employs the function (F) to express the occupancy of each grid cell with fluid. The value of (F) varies from zero to unity. Zero value refers to no fluid in the grid cell, while the unity value refers to the grid cell being fully occupied with fluid. The free surface is formed in the grid cells having (F) values between zero and unity.(4)∂F∂t+1VF∂∂xFAxu+∂∂yFAyv+∂∂zFAzw=0

where (u, v, w) are the velocity components in (x, y, z) coordinates, respectively, and (AxAyAz) are the area fractions.

2.3. Boundary and initial conditions

To improve the accuracy of the results, the boundary conditions should be carefully determined. In this study, two mesh blocks are used to minimize the time consumed in the simulation. The boundary conditions for mesh block 1 are as follows: The inlet and sides boundaries are defined as a wall boundary condition (wall boundary condition is usually used for bound fluid by solid regions. In the case of viscous flows, no-slip means that the tangential velocity is equal to the wall velocity and the normal velocity is zero), the outlet is defined as a symmetry boundary condition (symmetry boundary condition is usually used to reduce computational effort during CFD simulation. This condition allows the flow to be transferred from one mesh block to another. No inputs are required for this boundary condition except that its location should be defined accurately), the bottom boundary is defined as a uniform flow rate boundary condition, and the top boundary is defined as a specific pressure boundary condition with assigned atmospheric pressure. The boundary conditions for mesh block 2 are as follows: The inlet is defined as a symmetry boundary condition, the outlet is defined as a free flow boundary condition, the bottom and sides boundaries are defined as a wall boundary condition, and the top boundary is defined as a specific pressure boundary condition with assigned atmospheric pressure as shown in Fig. 2. The initial conditions required to be set for the fluid (i.e., water) inside of the domain include configuration, temperature, velocities, and pressure distribution. The configuration of water depends on the dimensions and shape of the dam reservoir. While the other conditions have been assigned as follows: temperature is normal water temperature (25 °c) and pressure distribution is hydrostatic with no initial velocity.

2.4. Numerical method

FLOW-3D uses the finite volume method (FVM) to solve the governing equation (Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes) over the computational domain. A finite-volume method is an Eulerian approach for representing and evaluating partial differential equations in algebraic equations form [29]. At discrete points on the mesh geometry, values are determined. Finite volume expresses a small volume surrounding each node point on a mesh. In this method, the divergence theorem is used to convert volume integrals with a divergence term to surface integrals. After that, these terms are evaluated as fluxes at each finite volume’s surfaces.

2.5. Turbulent models

Turbulence is the chaotic, unstable motion of fluids that occurs when there are insufficient stabilizing viscous forces. In FLOW-3D, there are six turbulence models available: the Prandtl mixing length model, the one-equation turbulent energy model, the two-equation (k – ε) model, the Renormalization-Group (RNG) model, the two-equation (k – ω) models, and a large eddy simulation (LES) model. For simulating flow motion, the RNG model is adopted to simulate the motion behavior better than the k – ε and k – ω.

models [30]. The RNG model consists of two main equations for the turbulent kinetic energy KT and its dissipation.εT(5)∂kT∂t+1VFuAx∂kT∂x+vAy∂kT∂y+wAz∂kT∂z=PT+GT+DiffKT-εT(6)∂εT∂t+1VFuAx∂εT∂x+vAy∂εT∂y+wAz∂εT∂z=C1.εTKTPT+c3.GT+Diffε-c2εT2kT

where KT is the turbulent kinetic energy, PT is the turbulent kinetic energy production, GT is the buoyancy turbulence energy, εT is the turbulent energy dissipation rate, DiffKT and Diffε are terms of diffusion, c1, c2 and c3 are dimensionless parameters, in which c1 and c3 have a constant value of 1.42 and 0.2, respectively, c2 is computed from the turbulent kinetic energy (KT) and turbulent production (PT) terms.

2.6. Sediment scour model

The sediment scour model available in FLOW-3D can calculate all the sediment transport processes including Entrainment transport, Bedload transport, Suspended transport, and Deposition. The erosion process starts once the water flows remove the grains from the packed bed and carry them into suspension. It happens when the applied shear stress by water flows exceeds critical shear stress. This process is represented by entrainment transport in the numerical model. After entrained, the grains carried by water flow are represented by suspended load transport. After that, some suspended grains resort to settling because of the combined effect of gravity, buoyancy, and friction. This process is described through a deposition. Finally, the grains sliding motions are represented by bedload transport in the model. For the entrainment process, the shear stress applied by the fluid motion on the packed bed surface is calculated using the standard wall function as shown in Eq.7.(7)ks,i=Cs,i∗d50

where ks,i is the Nikuradse roughness and Cs,i is a user-defined coefficient. The critical bed shear stress is defined by a dimensionless parameter called the critical shields number as expressed in Eq.8.(8)θcr,i=τcr,i‖g‖diρi-ρf

where θcr,i is the critical shields number, τcr,i is the critical bed shear stress, g is the absolute value of gravity acceleration, di is the diameter of the sediment grain, ρi is the density of the sediment species (i) and ρf is the density of the fluid. The value of the critical shields number is determined according to the Soulsby-Whitehouse equation.(9)θcr,i=0.31+1.2d∗,i+0.0551-exp-0.02d∗,i

where d∗,i is the dimensionless diameter of the sediment, given by Eq.10.(10)d∗,i=diρfρi-ρf‖g‖μf213

where μf is the fluid dynamic viscosity. For the sloping bed interface, the value of the critical shields number is modified according to Eq.11.(11)θ`cr,i=θcr,icosψsinβ+cos2βtan2φi-sin2ψsin2βtanφi

where θ`cr,i is the modified critical shields number, φi is the angle of repose for the sediment, β is the angle of bed slope and ψ is the angle between the flow and the upslope direction. The effects of the rolling, hopping, and sliding motions of grains along the packed bed surface are taken by the bedload transport process. The volumetric bedload transport rate (qb,i) per width of the bed is expressed in Eq.12.(12)qb,i=Φi‖g‖ρi-ρfρfdi312

where Φi is the dimensionless bedload transport rate is calculated by using Meyer Peter and Müller equation.(13)Φi=βMPM,iθi-θ`cr,i1.5cb,i

where βMPM,i is the Meyer Peter and Müller user-defined coefficient and cb,i is the volume fraction of species i in the bed material. The suspended load transport is calculated as shown in Eq.14.(14)∂Cs,i∂t+∇∙Cs,ius,i=∇∙∇DCs,i

where Cs,i is the suspended sediment mass concentration, D is the diffusivity, and us,i is the grain velocity of species i. Entrainment and deposition are two opposing processes that take place at the same time. The lifting and settling velocities for both entrainment and deposition processes are calculated according to Eq.15 and Eq.16, respectively.(15)ulifting,i=αid∗,i0.3θi-θ`cr,igdiρiρf-1(16)usettling,i=υfdi10.362+1.049d∗,i3-10.36

where αi is the entrainment coefficient of species i and υf is the kinematic viscosity of the fluid.

2.7. Grid type

Using simple rectangular orthogonal elements in planes and hexahedral in volumes in the (FLOW-3D) program makes the mesh generation process easier, decreases the required memory, and improves numerical accuracy. Two mesh blocks were used in a joined form with a size ratio of 2:1. The first mesh block is coarser, which contains the reservoir water, and the second mesh block is finer, which contains the dam. For achieving accuracy and efficiency in results, the mesh size is determined by using a grid convergence test. The optimum uniform cell size for the first mesh block is 0.012 m and for the second mesh block is 0.006 m.

2.8. Time step

The maximum time step size is determined by using a Courant number, which controls the distance that the flow will travel during the simulation time step. In this study, the Courant number was taken equal to 0.25 to prevent the flow from traveling through more than one cell in the time step. Based on the Courant number, a maximum time step value of 0.00075 s was determined.

2.9. Numerical model validation

The numerical model accuracy was achieved by comparing the numerical model results with previous experimental results. The experimental study of Schmocker and Hager [7] was based on 31 tests with changes in six parameters (d50, Ho, Bo, Lk, XD, and Qin). All experimental tests were conducted in a straight open glass-sided flume. The horizontal flume has a rectangular cross-section with a width of 0.4 m and a height of 0.7 m. The flume was provided with a flow straightener and an intake with a length of 0.66 m. All tested dams were inserted at various distances (XD) from the intake. Test No.1 from this experimental program was chosen to validate the numerical model. The different parameters used in test No.1 are as follows:

(1) uniform sediment with a mean diameter (d50 = 0.31 mm), (2) Ho = 0.2 m, (3) Bo = 0.2 m, (4) Lk = 0.1 m,

(5) XD = 1.0 m, (6) Qin = 6.0 lit/s, (7) Su and Sd = 2:1, (8) mass density (ρs = 2650 kg/m3(9) Homogenous and non-cohesive embankment dam. As shown in Fig. 2, the simulation is contained within a rectangular grid with dimensions: 3.56 m in the x-direction (where 0.66 m is used as inlet, 0.9 m as dam base width, and 1.0 m as outlet), in y-direction 0.2 m (dam length), and in the z-direction 0.3 m, which represents the dam height (0.2 m) with a free distance (0.1 m) above the dam. There are two main reasons that this experimental program is preferred for the validation process. The first reason is that this program deals with homogenous, non-cohesive soil, which is available in FLOW-3D. The second reason is that this program deals with small-scale models which saves time for numerical simulation. Finally, some important assumptions were considered during the validation process. The flow is assumed to be incompressible, viscous, turbulent, and three-dimensional.

By comparing dam profiles at different time instants for the experimental test with the current numerical model, it appears that the numerical model gives good agreement as shown in Fig. 3 and Fig. 4, with an average error percentage of 9% between the experimental results and the numerical model.

3. Analysis and discussions

The current model is used to study the effects of different parameters such as (initial breach shapes, dimensions, locations, upstream and downstream dam slopes) on the peak outflow discharge, QP, time of peak outflow, tP, and rate of erosion, E.

This study consists of a group of scenarios. The first scenario is changing the shapes of the initial breach according to Singh [1], the most predicted shapes are rectangular and V-notch as shown in Fig. 5. The second scenario is changing the initial breach dimensions (i.e., width and depth). While the third scenario is changing the location of the initial breach. Eventually, the last scenario is changing the upstream and downstream dam slopes.

All scenarios of this study were carried out under the same conditions such as inflow discharge value (Qin=1.0lit/s), dimensions of the tested dam, where dam height (Ho=0.20m), crest width.

(Lk=0.1m), dam length (Bo=0.20m), and homogenous & non-cohesive soil with a mean diameter (d50=0.31mm).

3.1. Dam breaching process evolution

The dam breaching process is a very complex process due to the quick changes in hydrodynamic conditions during dam failure. The dam breaching process starts once water flows reach the downstream face of the dam. During the initial stage of dam breaching, the erosion process is relatively quiet due to low velocities of flow. As water flows continuously, erosion rates increase, especially in two main zones: the crest and the downstream face. As soon as the dam crest is totally eroded, the water levels in the dam reservoir decrease rapidly, accompanied by excessive erosion in the dam body. The erosion process continues until the water levels in the dam reservoir equal the remaining height of the dam.

According to Zhou et al. [11], the breaching process consists of three main stages. The first stage starts with beginning overtopping flow, then ends when the erosion point directed upstream and reached the inflection point at the inflection time (ti). The second stage starts from the end of the stage1 until the occurrence of peak outflow discharge at the peak outflow time (tP). The third stage starts from the end of the stage2 until the value of outflow discharge becomes the same as the value of inflow discharge at the final time (tf). The outflow discharge from the dam breach increases rapidly during stage1 and stage2 because of the large dam storage capacity (i.e., the dam reservoir is totally full of water) and excessive erosion. While at stage3, the outflow values start to decrease slowly because most of the dam’s storage capacity was run out. The end of stage3 indicates that the dam storage capacity was totally run out, so the outflow equalized with the inflow discharge as shown in Fig. 6 and Fig. 7.

3.2. The effect of initial breach shape

To identify the effect of the initial breach shape on the evolution of the dam breaching process. Three tests were carried out with different cross-section areas for each shape. The initial breach is created at the center of the dam crest. Each test had an ID to make the process of arranging data easier. The rectangular shape had an ID (Rec5h & 5b), which means that its depth and width are equal to 5% of the dam height, and the V-notch shape had an ID (V-noch5h & 1:1) which means that its depth is equal to 5% of the dam height and its side slope is equal to 1:1. The comparison between rectangular and V-notch shapes is done by calculating the ratio between maximum dam height at different times (ZMax) to the initial dam height (Ho), rate of erosion, and hydrograph of outflow discharge for each test. The rectangular shape achieves maximum erosion rate and minimum inflection time, in addition to a rapid decrease in the dam reservoir levels. Therefore, the dam breaching is faster in the case of a rectangular shape than in a V-notch shape, which has the same cross-section area as shown in Fig. 8.

Also, by comparing the hydrograph for each test, the peak outflow discharge value in the case of a rectangular shape is higher than the V-notch shape by 5% and the time of peak outflow for the rectangular shape is shorter than the V-notch shape by 9% as shown in Fig. 9.

3.3. The effect of initial breach dimensions

The results of the comparison between the different initial breach shapes indicate that the worst initial breach shape is rectangular, so the second scenario from this study concentrated on studying the effect of a change in the initial rectangular breach dimensions. Groups of tests were carried out with different depths and widths for the rectangular initial breach. The first group had a depth of 5% from the dam height and with three different widths of 5,10, and 15% from the dam height, the second group had a depth of 10% with three different widths of 5,10, and 15%, the third group had a depth of 15% with three different widths of 5,10, and 15% and the final group had a width of 15% with three different heights of 5, 10, and 15% for a rectangular breach shape. The comparison was made as in the previous section to determine the worst case that leads to the quick dam failure as shown in Fig. 10.

The results show that the (Rec 5 h&15b) test achieves a maximum erosion rate for a shorter period of time and a minimum ratio for (Zmax / Ho) as shown in Fig. 10, which leads to accelerating the dam failure process. The dam breaching process is faster with the minimum initial breach depth and maximum initial breach width. In the case of a minimum initial breach depth, the retained head of water in the dam reservoir is high and the crest width at the bottom of the initial breach (L`K) is small, so the erosion point reaches the inflection point rapidly. While in the case of the maximum initial breach width, the erosion perimeter is large.

3.4. The effect of initial breach location

The results of the comparison between the different initial rectangular breach dimensions indicate that the worst initial breach dimension is (Rec 5 h&15b), so the third scenario from this study concentrated on studying the effect of a change in the initial breach location. Three locations were checked to determine the worst case for the dam failure process. The first location is at the center of the dam crest, which was named “Center”, the second location is at mid-distance between the dam center and dam edge, which was named “Mid”, and the third location is at the dam edge, which was named “Edge” as shown in Fig. 11. According to this scenario, the results indicate that the time of peak outflow discharge (tP) is the same in the three cases, but the maximum value of the peak outflow discharge occurs at the center location. The difference in the peak outflow values between the three cases is relatively small as shown in Fig. 12.

The rates of erosion were also studied for the three cases. The results show that the maximum erosion rate occurs at the center location as shown in Fig. 13. By making a comparison between the three cases for the dam storage volume. The results show that the center location had the minimum values for the dam storage volume, which means that a large amount of water has passed to the downstream area as shown in Fig. 14. According to these results, the center location leads to increased erosion rate and accelerated dam failure process compared with the two other cases. Because the erosion occurs on both sides, but in the case of edge location, the erosion occurs on one side.

3.5. The effect of upstream and downstream dam slopes

The results of the comparison between the different initial rectangular breach locations indicate that the worst initial breach location is the center location, so the fourth scenario from this study concentrated on studying the effect of a change in the upstream (Su) and downstream (Sd) dam slopes. Three slopes were checked individually for both upstream and downstream slopes to determine the worst case for the dam failure process. The first slope value is (2H:1V), the second slope value is (2.5H:1V), and the third slope value is (3H:1V). According to this scenario, the results show that the decreasing downstream slope angle leads to increasing time of peak outflow discharge (tP) and decreasing value of peak outflow discharge. The difference in the peak outflow values between the three cases for the downstream slope is 2%, as shown in Fig. 15, but changing the upstream slope has a negligible impact on the peak outflow discharge and its time as shown in Fig. 16.

The rates of erosion were also studied in the three cases for both upstream and downstream slopes. The results show that the maximum erosion rate increases by 6.0% with an increasing downstream slope angle by 4°, as shown in Fig. 17. The results also indicate that the erosion rates aren’t affected by increasing or decreasing the upstream slope angle, as shown in Fig. 18. According to these results, increasing the downstream slope angle leads to increased erosion rate and accelerated dam failure process compared with the upstream slope angle. Because of increasing shear stress applied by water flows in case of increasing downstream slope.

According to all previous scenarios, the dimensionless peak outflow discharge QPQin is presented for a fixed dam height (Ho) and inflow discharge (Qin). Fig. 19 illustrates the relationship between QP∗=QPQin and.

Lr=ho2/3∗bo2/3Ho. The deduced relationship achieves R2=0.96.(17)QP∗=2.2807exp-2.804∗Lr

4. Conclusions

A spatial dam breaching process was simulated by using FLOW-3D Software. The validation process was performed by making a comparison between the simulated results of dam profiles and the dam profiles obtained by Schmocker and Hager [7] in their experimental study. And also, the peak outflow value recorded an error percentage of 12% between the numerical model and the experimental study. This model was used to study the effect of initial breach shape, dimensions, location, and dam slopes on peak outflow discharge, time of peak outflow, and the erosion process. By using the parameters obtained from the validation process, the results of this study can be summarized in eight points as follows.1.

The rectangular initial breach shape leads to an accelerating dam failure process compared with the V-notch.2.

The value of peak outflow discharge in the case of a rectangular initial breach is higher than the V-notch shape by 5%.3.

The time of peak outflow discharge for a rectangular initial breach is shorter than the V-notch shape by 9%.4.

The minimum depth and maximum width for the initial breach achieve maximum erosion rates (increasing breach width, b0, or decreasing breach depth, h0, by 5% from the dam height leads to an increase in the maximum rate of erosion by 11% and 15%, respectively), so the dam failure is rapid.5.

The center location of the initial breach leads to an accelerating dam failure compared with the edge location.6.

The initial breach location has a negligible effect on the peak outflow discharge value and its time.7.

Increasing the downstream slope angle by 4° leads to an increase in both peak outflow discharge and maximum rate of erosion by 2.0% and 6.0%, respectively.8.

The upstream slope has a negligible effect on the dam breaching process.


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