Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dam Breach Parameters - Technical References

US Bureau of Reclamation Dam Safety Office Publication titled 'Prediction of Embankment Dam Breach Parameters', published in July 1998 can be seen at:

This publication deals with dam break analysis and prediction of water flow process and  overflow during extreme floods and routing of the flow after the dam breach.
This research report contains relevant literature review and also deals with case studies of dam failures with relevant data. The prediction parameters include prediction of peak outflows and dam breach prediction models.

The report focuses on 'embankment' dams. But the flood flow parameters are equally applicable to  gravity dams.

Of particular interest to Mullaperiyar Dam would be the various tools currently available for analyzing and predicting dam failures listed on page 5 of the report.  The mostly widely used ones are:

  • National Weather Service (NWS) Dam-Break Flood Forecasting Model (DAMBRK)  (most widely used) and its successor FLDWAV
  • The US Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center Flood Hydrograph Package HEC 1
  • NWS Simplified Dam-Break Forecasting Model SMPDBK.

It is suggested in the report that SMPDBK can be used as a screening tool and DAMBRK for more detailed analyses.

Analysis of the routing of the dam-break flood is particularly important to determine the post-break impact.
NWS BREACH model can be used to simulate the breach formation process in detail.

This report can guide the Engineers in analyzing and forecasting dam break parameters for Mullaperiyar dam. They can use simulation software such as Flow3D or OpenFOAM to simulate the water flow within the reservoir and downstream.

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