Study of dam break flow interaction with urban settlements over a sloping channel

Ioanna Stamataki, Jun Zang, Eugeny Buldakov, Thomas Kjeldsen, Dimitris Stagonas

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This paper describes a dam break experiment on a sloped channel, carried out in a hydraulic flume at UCL for the purpose of computer model validations of extreme events, such as flash floods. An elevated reservoir was situated upstream followed by a 1/20 slope leading up to a flat floodplain. Plexiglas blocks were positioned on the floodplain constituting different urban settlements and creating different obstructions to the flow. The flume was instrumented along its length measuring the change in water depth in the reservoir; the water depth time histories in various locations; the flow patterns and flood front velocity; and lastly the pressure and load on the buildings. The experiments were repeated for different urban settlements, flood intensities (two different initial water depths in the reservoir) and roughness layers along the slope, representative of a vegetated and a non-vegetated hill. In the present study, the experimental results were described qualitatively and compared with theoretical processes and 2D numerical results obtained using OpenFOAM's RAS turbulent model. Water depth, velocity and load measurements were analysed for different cases and it was found that while the 2D model provided a good fit on the slope, the flows generated around the building were more complex 3D formations which lead to inaccuracies. All experiments were repeated multiple times to ensure repeatability and thus the procedure was validated successfully providing a complete dataset that can be used for the validation of computational models for extreme events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number06006
Number of pages8
JournalE3S Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2018
Event9th International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics, River Flow 2018 - Lyon-Villeurbanne, France
Duration: 5 Sept 20188 Sept 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Energy
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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