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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-383
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Dec 2017

Research article | 13 Dec 2017

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Experimental study of embankment breach based on its construction parameters

Sachin Dhiman and Kanhu Charan Patra Sachin Dhiman and Kanhu Charan Patra
  • Civil Engineering Department, National Institute of Technology Rourkela, Rourkela, 769008, India

Abstract. Laboratory data obtained from the overtopping failure of eight cohesive embankments built with different construction parameters are presented in this paper. Experiments were performed in two phases. Five experiments under phase 1 were carried out in small width flume having dimension viz. 17m long, 0.6m wide and 0.6m high. In phase 2, three experiments were performed on large width flume having dimensions viz. 13m long, 1.75m wide and 0.5m high. The construction parameters which were varied in embankments are compaction effort, compaction moisture content, and the moisture content at the time of failure. Phase 1 investigate the effect of compaction effort and compaction moisture content on breach parameters. As the water content of clay decreases or increases, the soil shrinks or swells which can cause damage ranging from small hairline cracks to severe structural distress. The sudden rise of water level in the reservoir due to heavy rain will cause rushing of water through cracks and if water overtopped the embankment will lead to quick failure. An attempt was made in phase 2 to investigate the effects on breach evolution when the embankments were air dried to reduce its moisture content and to develop cracks. The final breach shape and parameters noted in experiments show remarkable change for each dam failure. In the remainder of this paper, we report results of a set of small and large scale dam-overtopping experiments that were designed to; (1) investigate the effect of changing compaction effort and moisture content of the headcut migration, breach parameters, and flood hydrograph; (2) assess the overtopping behaviour of embankments when they are air dried for a long time.

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