Theme B: simulation of the behavior of prototypes of rockfill dams during overtopping scenarios: seepage evolution and beginning of failure
Document typeConference report
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In recent years the technology on embankments dams has developed sensibly due to the advances in soil mechanic, and in all related sciences. Nevertheless their vulnerability to overtopping still remains their weakest point in comparison with concrete structures. The principal aim of this theme is the simulation of the initial stage of failure of the dam when an overtopping or an exceptional flood occurs. A fluid-structure coupled problem has to be considered. The sudden variation of the upstream conditions induces a quick evolution of a seepage line in the downstream shoulder. Non linear Darcy law has to be taken into account. On the other hand the water, emerging from the toe of the dam, induces dragging of particles and possible mass sliding, depending on geometrical and material conditions. UPM and CEDEX have carried out more than 70 experiments during the last two years. They analyzed the influence of a series of parameters on the failure mechanisms. These parameters are, for instance, the dimension of the rocks, the slope of the downstream part of the dam, the type of impermeable element used, and so on. We propose to reproduce numerically three experiments analyzing the evolution of seepage and following initial stage of failure in the case of a homogeneous dam, of a dam with impermeable upstream face and of a dam with internal core. Experimental data, bottom pressure distribution and topographic analysis of the geometry of the dam during the failure can be compared with numerical results.
CitationLarese, A. [et al.]. Theme B: simulation of the behavior of prototypes of rockfill dams during overtopping scenarios: seepage evolution and beginning of failure. A: ICOLD Benchmark Workshop on Numerical Analysis of Dams. "XI ICOLD Benchmark Workshop on Numerical Analysis of Dams". València: 2011, p. 1-25.