Evolution Pattern of Tailings Flow from Dam Failure and the Buffering Effect of Debris Blocking Dams
State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China
Yunnan Key Laboratory of Sino-German Blue Mining and Utilization of Special Underground Space, Faculty of Land Resources Engineeirng, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650093, China
State Key Laboratory of Coal Mine Disaster Dynamics and Control, School of Resources and Safety Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430081, China
Guangxi Branch of CSCEC Strait Construction and Development Co., Ltd., Nanning 530000, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(11), 2388; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112388
Received: 31 August 2019 / Revised: 8 November 2019 / Accepted: 10 November 2019 / Published: 14 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling of Soil Erosion and Sediment Transport)
Tailings ponds are the indispensable facilities in the mine production and operation. Once the dam is destabilized and damaged, it will pose a serious threat on the life and property of the downstream population and could also potentially cause an environmental disaster. With an engineering background, this paper dynamically and numerically simulates the evolution process of tailings flow from dam failure and the influence scope of any resulting disaster in context. The evolution characteristics of leaked tailings flow are analyzed at various downstream riverbed slopes and debris blocking dam settings. In addition, parameters such as flow rate, impact force and deposition range of leaked tailings flow at downstream arrival are studied, as well as their correlations. The results indicate that the flat terrains upstream and downstream of passage zone show a relatively larger area of inundation by tailings flow. Both the maximum and final downstream inundated ranges increase with the elevating slope of downstream riverbed, and the leaked tailings are deposited mainly in the nearby villages in front of the dam and the flat terrains of the downstream passage zone. Additionally, rational establishment of debris blocking dams on the downstream side is effective in diminishing the damage of tailings flow to the downstream section. This study can also provide an important basis for the quantitative evaluation of post-disaster influence scope for tailings pond as well as for the design of dam body.