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EVALUATING EROSION WIDENING AND HEADCUT MIGRATION RATES FOR EMBANKMENT OVERTOPPING TESTS

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  032067,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13768) @2003
Authors:   G. J. Hanson, K. R. Cook, S. L. Britton
Keywords:   Embankment, breach, headcuts, energy dissipation, erodibility, soil parameters

There are a number of recognized technology advancement needs associated with watershed structure re-evaluation and rehabilitation. One of those needs, addressed by embankment breach research, is technology for predicting performance during extreme events. Preliminary evaluation of the headcut migration and erosion widening rates during overtopping and breaching tests on large-scale models are described in this paper. Three large-scale embankments, 2.3 m and 1.5 m high, have been tested. Two embankments had three homogeneous test sections and one embankment had one wider test section. The embankments had 3H:1V slopes on both the upstream and downstream sides. Three soils were tested, two non-plastic SM silty sand materials and a CL lean clay. The primary erosion processes observed were headcut migration and erosion widening. The rates of the erosion processes were observed to vary by several orders of magnitude and were observed to be strongly dependent on the soil material properties. Rates were strongly a function of compaction water content. The measured soil properties of erodibility and strength are promising for the development of physical models to predict embankment overtopping erosion and breach.

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