Numerical Simulation of lateral dike breaching due to overtopping

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Dikes and levees are encountered very often along rivers. They are crucial as defence structures for flow channelization, protecting population and properties from floods as well as against lateral riverbed migration. However, the combination of their aging and increased exposition to extreme hydrological events may cause these structures to breach, and subsequently to fail. Understanding the dynamics of breaching is very important for developing adequate countermeasures, for civil protection initiatives and for land use planning. Recent literature shows many studies concerning, both from experimental and numerical point of views, frontal dike breaching. Based on several evidences, it is well assessed that depth-integrated numerical models can successfully reproduce this kind of phenomenon (e.g. Greco et al., 2012). Recently, Rifai et al. (2017) investigated a different setup in which the embankment is parallel to the main channel flow and thus a lateral breaching occurs. It is worth noting this scheme resembles real-world situation of levees breaching along a river. In present paper, the capability of depth-integrated approaches in reproducing such tests is investigated. Numerical results obtained with different models are compared against experiments from both the qualitative and quantitative point of views. Considerations about the applicability of depth-integrated models in real world situation of lateral breaching of dikes and levees are also drawn.




Dewals, B., Rifai, I., El-Kadi Abderrazek, K., Greco, M., Di Cristo, C., Iervolino, M., … Vacca, A. (2018). Numerical Simulation of lateral dike breaching due to overtopping. In E3S Web of Conferences (Vol. 40). EDP Sciences.

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