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Article

Numerical Modeling of the Effects of Toe Configuration on Throughflow in Rockfill Dams

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), S.P. Andersens veg 5, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
2
Department of Water and Wastewater, Kommunalteknikk, Trondheim Kommune, Erling Skakkes Gate 14, 7013 Trondheim, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Miguel Á. Toledo and Rafael Moran
Water 2021, 13(13), 1726; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131726
Received: 5 May 2021 / Revised: 8 June 2021 / Accepted: 14 June 2021 / Published: 22 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dam Safety. Overtopping and Geostructural Risks)
The rockfill toe structure situated within the downstream slope of rockfill dams is an integral part of a defense mechanism safeguarding the dam structure in throughflow situations. Recent studies have concluded that the rockfill toe structure can have significant impacts on throughflow development and stability of rockfill dams under scenarios of accidental throughflow caused by overtopping of the dam core. The ability to numerically model the effect of various toe configurations on flow through rockfill dams can support the design of effective toe drainage structures for rockfill dams. Development and calibration of a reliable numerical modeling tool in this regard has been challenging owing to lack of availability of extensive datasets from physical modeling investigations. This study further employs datasets gathered by a recent physical modeling study investigating the effects of various toe configurations on throughflow development in rockfill dam models. A commercial numerical seepage modeling tool with an option for non-Darcy flow was calibrated against the datasets with good calibration metrics. The study is novel in providing a rare report on the usage of this option. The calibrated tool can further be employed to carry out a wide array of simulations to arrive at an ideal design for a toe structure for rockfill dams and for assessment of hydraulic performance of toe structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: rockfill dams; dam safety; throughflow; numerical modeling; non-Darcy flow rockfill dams; dam safety; throughflow; numerical modeling; non-Darcy flow
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MDPI and ACS Style

Smith, N.S.; Ravindra, G.H.R.; Sigtryggsdóttir, F.G. Numerical Modeling of the Effects of Toe Configuration on Throughflow in Rockfill Dams. Water 2021, 13, 1726. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131726

AMA Style

Smith NS, Ravindra GHR, Sigtryggsdóttir FG. Numerical Modeling of the Effects of Toe Configuration on Throughflow in Rockfill Dams. Water. 2021; 13(13):1726. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131726

Chicago/Turabian Style

Smith, Nils S., Ganesh H.R. Ravindra, and Fjóla G. Sigtryggsdóttir 2021. "Numerical Modeling of the Effects of Toe Configuration on Throughflow in Rockfill Dams" Water 13, no. 13: 1726. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131726

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