The rock mass erosion of dam spillways, a phenomenon involving the interaction between the hydraulic load of water and the capability of the rock mass to resist its destruction, remains a critical safety issue. The erosion resistance of a rock mass can be estimated through several erodibility indices, including those of Kirsten, Pells or Bollaert. Several indices have been developed to link rock resistance to the hydraulic parameters of water, i.e., the hydraulic load applied on a rock mass. The developed indices use the average flow velocity, the average shear stress on the bottom of the flow channel, the stress applied to the internal joints of fractured rock mass, the dynamic impulse force, and the power dissipation of water to represent the erosive force of water. From these indices, several methods of assessing hydraulic erosion have been developed, and all use the threshold line concept. Nonetheless, several uncertainties are associated with these methods. This paper presents and discusses the various means of calculating the erosive force of water as a hazard parameter for predicting potential rock erosion. The representativeness of these approaches is also discussed, and we clarify nuances associated with each method. We then provide guidelines for future research aimed at improving estimates of the erosive force of the water within spillway flow channels.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.