Special Issue "Advances in Dam-Break Modeling for Flood Hazard Mitigation: Theory, Numerical Models, and Applications in Hydraulic Engineering"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydraulics and Hydrodynamics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2022 | Viewed by 9252

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Francesca Aureli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Parma (Italy)
Interests: GPU-parallelized numerical models; overland flows; numerical and physical modeling of dam break flows; assessment of flood hazard due to levee breach or dam-break; synthetic design hydrographs
Prof. Dr. Andrea Maranzoni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Parma (Italy)
Interests: numerical and physical modeling of unsteady free surface flows; assessment of flood hazard due to levee breach or dam-break; mathematical modeling of mixed flows; analysis of seismic-induced flow motions; analysis of the performance of side weirs; analysis of spatially varied flows
Prof. Dr. Gabriella Petaccia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Pavia
Interests: dam-break modeling; 1D and 2D flood propagation modeling; mapping of flooded areas; urban areas flooding; wood debris transport; overland flow modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Dam-break modeling is still an important field of theoretical and applied research which is of great interest to hydraulic engineers. Indeed, floods potentially induced by the collapse of dams may have catastrophic consequences on downstream lands, both in terms of human and economic losses. Moreover, the vulnerability of older dams to hydrological extreme events is increasing due to structural deterioration or inadequate spillway capacity, as well as the exposure of the floodable areas as a result of urban development.

Robust and efficient numerical models are needed to accurately reproduce dam-break flows on real topography. The availability of real experience and knowledge based on historical events, together with physical models data and sensitivity analysis, allows such modeling tools to be validated and constantly improved, and used with confidence in flood hazard mapping. Flood hazard assessment is indeed a prerequisite to design prevention and mitigation measures aimed at reducing the number of people affected by water-related disasters, which is one of the goals of the 2030 European Commission Agenda related to the improvement of living conditions in urban areas. The availability of robust and reliable predictive models will also represent a strategic resource in defining future hydrologic scenarios due to climate change.

Therefore, the aims of this Special Issue are:

  • To present recent advances in theoretical analysis of dam-break flows;
  • To present recent advances in numerical modeling of dam-break flows on real topography;
  • To present laboratory experiments and new case studies useful to validate numerical models;
  • To show applications of dam-break numerical models to flood hazard assessment.

All original contributions addressing the previous issues are welcome, as well as discussions on open problems and review papers on the topic of dam-break modeling.

Prof. Dr. Francesca Aureli
Prof. Dr. Andrea Maranzoni
Prof. Dr. Gabriella Petaccia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Dam-break modeling
  • Mathemathical modeling
  • Shallow water equations
  • Numerical modeling
  • Experimental data
  • Case studies
  • Flood hazard mapping
  • Flood hazard mitigation
  • Urban flooding
  • Scenarios of future hydrologic extremes

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Influence of Dam Breach Parameter Statistical Definition on Resulting Rupture Maximum Discharge
Water 2022, 14(11), 1776; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111776 - 01 Jun 2022
Viewed by 547
Abstract
However rare, dam breach occurrences are recently reported and associated with significant damage to life and property. The rupture of the structural dam wall generates severe flow rates that exceed spillway capacity consequently generating unprecedented flooding scenarios. The present research aims to assess [...] Read more.
However rare, dam breach occurrences are recently reported and associated with significant damage to life and property. The rupture of the structural dam wall generates severe flow rates that exceed spillway capacity consequently generating unprecedented flooding scenarios. The present research aims to assess the influence of the dam breach statistical configuration on the most relevant parameters to predict the rupture maximum discharge (RMD). McBreach© software was used to provide the necessary inputs for the operation of the HEC-RAS dam breach module. McBreach© automates the process of batch mode simulations providing a Monte Carlo approach to characterize the breach parameters stochastically. Thus, a sensitivity analysis was performed to identify the most influential breach parameters, followed by an uncertainty assessment regarding their statistical definition of the resultant RMD. Analysis showed that the overtopping failure mode discharges are most sensitive to the breach formation time (tf) parameter, followed by the final height breach (Inv) and the final width of the breach (B), which combined are responsible for 85% of the rupture’s maximum discharge. Further results indicated highly variable RMD magnitudes (up to 300%) depending on the breach parameter’s statistical definition (i.e., probability density function and associated statistical parameters). The latter significantly impacts the estimated flood risk associated with the breach, the flood zone delimitation, preparation of emergency action plans (EAP) and scaling of future dam projects. Consequently, there is a plausible need for additional investigations to reduce this uncertainty and, therefore, the risk associated with it. Full article
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Article
Modeling and Risk Analysis of Dam-Break Flooding in a Semi-Arid Montane Watershed: A Case Study of the Yabous Dam, Northeastern Algeria
Water 2022, 14(5), 767; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14050767 - 28 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1175
Abstract
The risk related to embankment dam breaches needs to be evaluated in order to prepare emergency action plans. The physical and hydrodynamic parameters of the flood wave generated from the dam failure event correspond to various breach parameters, such as width, slope, and [...] Read more.
The risk related to embankment dam breaches needs to be evaluated in order to prepare emergency action plans. The physical and hydrodynamic parameters of the flood wave generated from the dam failure event correspond to various breach parameters, such as width, slope, and formation time. This study aimed to simulate the dam breach failure scenario of the Yabous dam (northeast Algeria) and analyze its influence on the related areas (urban and natural environments) downstream of the dam. The simulation was completed using the sensitivity analysis method to assess the impact of breach parameters and flooding on the dam break scenario. The flood wave propagation associated with the dam break was simulated using the one-dimensional HEC-RAS hydraulic model. This study applied a sensitivity analysis of three breach parameters (slope, width, and formation time) on five sites selected downstream of the embankment dam. The simulation showed that the maximum flow of the flood wave recorded at the level of the breach was 8768 m3/s, which gradually attenuated along the river course to reach 1972.7 m3/s at about 8.5 km downstream the dam. This study established the map of flood risk areas that illustrated zones threatened by the flooding wave triggered by the dam failure due to extreme rainfall events. The sensitivity analysis showed that flood wave flow, height, and width revealed positive and similar changes for the increases in adjustments (±25% and ±50%) of breach width and slope in the five sites. However, flood wave parameters of breach formation time showed significant trends that changed in the opposite direction compared to breach slope and width. Meanwhile, the adjustments (±25% and ±50%) of the flood hydrograph did not significantly influence the flood parameters downstream of the dam. In the present study, the HEC-RAS 1-D modeling demonstrated effectiveness in simulating the propagation of flood waves downstream of the dam in the event of dam failure and highlighted the impact of the breach parameters and the flood hydrographical pattern on flood wave parameters. Full article
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Article
A New Dam-Break Outflow-Rate Concept and Its Installation to a Hydro-Morphodynamics Simulation Model Based on FDM (An Example on Amagase Dam of Japan)
Water 2021, 13(13), 1759; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131759 - 25 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1378
Abstract
Dams are constructed to benefit humans; however, dam-break disasters are unpredictable and inevitable leading to economic and human life losses. The sequential catastrophe of a dam break directly depends on its outflow hydrograph and the extent of population centers that are located downstream [...] Read more.
Dams are constructed to benefit humans; however, dam-break disasters are unpredictable and inevitable leading to economic and human life losses. The sequential catastrophe of a dam break directly depends on its outflow hydrograph and the extent of population centers that are located downstream of an affected dam. The population density of the cities located in the vicinity of dams has increased in recent times and since a dam break hydrograph relies on many uncertainties and complexities in devising a dam-break outflow hydrograph, more researches for the accurate estimation of a dam-break flood propagation, extent and topography change becomes valuable; therefore, in this paper, the authors propose a novel and simplified dam-break outflow rate equation that is applicable for sudden-partial dam breaks. The proposed equation is extensively affected by a dam-break shape. Therefore, the inference of a dam-break shape on a dam-break outflow rate is investigated in the current study by executing hydraulic experiments in a long, dry bed, frictionless and rectangular water channel connected to a finite water tank to acquire a mean break-shape factor. The proposed equation is further validated by regenerating the Malpasset dam-break hydrograph and comparing it to the existing methods and also by installing it on an existing 2D hydro-morphodynamics flood simulation model. Finally, Amagase Dam’s (arch-reaction dam in Japan) break simulation is executed as a case study. The results of the simulations revealed that the greater the height of a dam-break section, the more devastating its flood consequences would be. Full article
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Article
Vertically Averaged and Moment Equations for Dam-Break Wave Modeling: Shallow Water Hypotheses
Water 2020, 12(11), 3232; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113232 - 18 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1456
Abstract
The dam-break wave modeling technology relies upon the so-called shallow water equations (SWE), i.e., mass and momentum vertically averaged equations by implementing the shallow water hypotheses, namely (i) horizontal velocity component independent of the vertical coordinate, (ii) vertical velocity component is null, (iii) [...] Read more.
The dam-break wave modeling technology relies upon the so-called shallow water equations (SWE), i.e., mass and momentum vertically averaged equations by implementing the shallow water hypotheses, namely (i) horizontal velocity component independent of the vertical coordinate, (ii) vertical velocity component is null, (iii) pressure distribution is hydrostatic, (iv) turbulence is neglected. While this model often yields a satisfactory answer from an engineering standpoint, flows with vertical length scales not negligible cannot be modeled with accuracy, including the undular surge generated after a dam break for relatively high tailwater levels. These flows are modeled by the Serre–Green–Naghdi equations (SGNE), which fail to mimic wave breaking for low tailwater levels, however. Neither SWE nor SGNE produce a fully satisfactory answer for modeling dam break waves, therefore. A higher-order model using vertically averaged and moment equations (VAM) is used in this work to simulate dam break waves, thereby showing good results for arbitrary values of the tailwater level. The model contains four perturbation parameters implemented to overcome the shallow water hypotheses; two for the velocity components and two for fluid pressure. The role of each parameter in relaxing the limitations of the SWE is systematically investigated, depicting a complex and necessary interplay between the dynamic component of fluid pressure and the modeling of the velocity profile in producing accurate solutions for both non-hydrostatic and broken waves in dam break flows. The results highlight how the shallow water hypotheses can be relaxed in the vertically averaged modeling of dam break waves, producing an outcome of both theoretical and practical interest in the field. The results generated are tested with available experimental data, resulting in acceptable agreement. Full article
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Article
Dam Break Modeling in a Cascade of Small Earthen Dams: Case Study of the Čižina River in the Czech Republic
Water 2020, 12(8), 2309; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082309 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1518
Abstract
Failures of small dams can pose a serious threat to people and property even if the size of the schemes is relatively low. In many cases, small dams are situated in a cascade along streams, meaning that the failure of the uppermost dam [...] Read more.
Failures of small dams can pose a serious threat to people and property even if the size of the schemes is relatively low. In many cases, small dams are situated in a cascade along streams, meaning that the failure of the uppermost dam may cause the dams downstream to fail. In this paper, a cascade of three small reservoirs, Lichnov II (14.6 m high), Lichnov III (10 m high), and Pocheň (8.5 m high), is the subject of the dam break analyses carried out via various methods such as empirical formulae, analogy, and hydraulic modeling. The dam-break flood routing was simulated using a shallow water flow hydraulic model. The simulations confirm that the attenuation effect of the peak discharge is governed by the flood volume, slope, and morphology of the floodplain and increases with the distance from the breached dam following an approximately exponential trend. When estimating peak discharge, empirical formulae derived for a single dam break should be applied carefully as they may underestimate the peak outflow by up to 10% in the case of a dam cascade. The attenuation volume of small reservoirs is small when compared to the flood volume, meaning that the attenuation of the peak discharge usually varies between 5–10%. Full article
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Review

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Review
Review of Historical Dam-Break Events and Laboratory Tests on Real Topography for the Validation of Numerical Models
Water 2021, 13(14), 1968; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141968 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1309
Abstract
Dam break inundation mapping is essential for risk management and mitigation, emergency action planning, and potential consequences assessment. To quantify flood hazard associated with dam failures, flooding variables must be predicted by efficient and robust numerical models capable to effectively cope with the [...] Read more.
Dam break inundation mapping is essential for risk management and mitigation, emergency action planning, and potential consequences assessment. To quantify flood hazard associated with dam failures, flooding variables must be predicted by efficient and robust numerical models capable to effectively cope with the computational difficulties posed by complex flows on real topographies. Validation against real-field data of historical dam-breaks is extremely useful to verify models’ capabilities and accuracy. However, such catastrophic events are rather infrequent, and available data on the breaching mechanism and downstream flooding are usually inaccurate and incomplete. Nevertheless, in some cases, real-field data collected after the event (mainly breach size, maximum water depths and flood wave arrival times at selected locations, water marks, and extent of flooded areas) are adequate to set up valuable and significant test cases, provided that all other data required to perform numerical simulations are available (mainly topographic data of the floodable area and input parameters defining the dam-break scenario). This paper provides a review of the historical dam-break events for which real-field datasets useful for validation purposes can be retrieved in the literature. The resulting real-field test cases are divided into well-documented test cases, for which extensive and complete data are already available, and cases with partial or inaccurate datasets. Type and quality of the available data are specified for each case. Finally, validation data provided by dam-break studies on physical models reproducing real topographies are presented and discussed. This review aims at helping dam-break modelers: (a) to select the most suitable real-field test cases for validating their numerical models, (b) to facilitate data access by indicating relevant bibliographic references, and (c) to identify test cases of potential interest worthy of further research. Full article

Other

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Reply
Reply to AlQasimi, E.; Mahdi, T.-F. Comment on “Aureli et al. Review of Historical Dam-Break Events and Laboratory Tests on Real Topography for the Validation of Numerical Models. Water 2021, 13, 1968”
Water 2022, 14(2), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020267 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 357
Abstract
This is the reply to the comments by AlQasimi and Mahdi (2022) on the classification attributed to the Lake Ha! Ha! real-field test case by Aureli et al. (2021) in their review of historical dam-break events useful for the validation of dam-break numerical [...] Read more.
This is the reply to the comments by AlQasimi and Mahdi (2022) on the classification attributed to the Lake Ha! Ha! real-field test case by Aureli et al. (2021) in their review of historical dam-break events useful for the validation of dam-break numerical models. While admitting that this test case is affected by the data shortcomings reported by the Discussers, in the authors’ opinion, it should remain included in the group of well-documented test cases due to the large and complete dataset available in digital format. This conclusion is also supported by the fact that the Lake Ha! Ha! case was chosen as a benchmark in the framework of the 2001–2004 IMPACT (Investigation of Extreme Flood Processes and Uncertainty) European project and was then widely used in the literature for the validation of one-dimensional and two-dimensional geomorphic flood models. Full article
Comment
Comment on Aureli et al. Review of Historical Dam-Break Events and Laboratory Tests on Real Topography for the Validation of Numerical Models. Water 2021, 13, 1968
Water 2022, 14(2), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020264 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 365
Abstract
This discussion points out that the available data of the Lake Ha! Ha! Dam failure, classified as useful for models’ validation purposes by Aureli et al. (2021), present serious shortcomings that should move the Lake Ha! Ha! Dam from Aureli et al.’s well-documented [...] Read more.
This discussion points out that the available data of the Lake Ha! Ha! Dam failure, classified as useful for models’ validation purposes by Aureli et al. (2021), present serious shortcomings that should move the Lake Ha! Ha! Dam from Aureli et al.’s well-documented test cases to cases with partial or inaccurate datasets. Full article
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