A dam-breach erosion model: I. Formulation Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper, Part I in a series of two, develops a mathematical model for earthern dam breach erosion. This model constitutes an extension of the Breach Erosion of Earthfill Dams (BEED) model developed by Singh and Scarlatos (1987). Two aspects are emphasized: the evolution of the dam breach, and the subsequent flood and sediment routing. Simulation of dam breach evolution is based on hydrologic, geometric and geotechnic considerations. Einstein-Brown and Bagnold equations are utilized to compute the rate of erosion in the breached section. A water routing scheme, based on a modified version of the Muskingum method to simulate flow exchange between channel and floodplains, is used to route the resulting breach hydrograph. A sediment routing scheme based on the Muskingum method, modified to simulate deposition in floodplains, and deposition and scouring in the channel, is utilized to route the breach sediment graph. In Part II, the model is tested against historical dam failures, and an analysis is made to determine its sensitivity to various parameters. © 1987 D. Reidel Publishing Company.

author list (cited authors)

  • Singh, V. P., & Quiroga, C. A.

citation count

  • 17

publication date

  • September 1987