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Hydraulics and Environment Department Hydraulics and Environment Department

Studies - Failure by overtopping embankment dams and earth levees

This project is meant to frame research efforts in the broad topic of dam and levee breaching due to overtopping, involving research on hydraulics, erosion, deposition, and sediment transport, i.e. encompassing both hydrodynamic and geotechnical phenomena involved.

In particular, the project is aimed at i) advancing the state-of-the-art in the characterization of the hydrodynamic and geotechnical phenomena involved in the evolution of a breach caused by overtopping in earth dams and levees and ii) developing an integrated mathematical model, featuring geotechnical and hydrodynamic phenomena and a method of solution. As a corollary the results of the project will allow for a better understanding of the differences between dike and dam breaching, as these will be built in the numerical model for the deterministic simulation of breach evolution and the calculation of the outflow hydrograph.

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