Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

Geotechnical Special Publication


Geo-Congress 2013

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Improved computer models of erosion have been developed, considering soil hydraulic conductivity. The models deal with erosion of levees, dams and embankments due to overtopping. The simulations trace the formation of rills and gullies, beginning with initial overtopping and continuing to final breaching. Physical models performed at "1-g" and high "g" using a geotechnical centrifuge have been used to calibrate the models. Previous models did not consider soil hydraulic conductivity, and although results were quite good for the formation of rills and gullies and sediment quantities, breach times were underestimated. Essentially the water flow was treated as if passing over a solid surface, not entering the soil, and the total water flow was available for erosion. Thus, breach times were underestimated. Soil erodibility parameters had to be adjusted in order to achieve good agreement with breach times. The new models developed consider soil hydraulic conductivity, and produce good agreement with the performance of the physical modeling, including breach times and the use of proper soil erodibility parameters.