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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 4
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 705–718, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-14-705-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 705–718, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-14-705-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  27 Apr 2010

27 Apr 2010

CFD modelling approach for dam break flow studies

C. Biscarini1,3, S. Di Francesco2,3, and P. Manciola2 C. Biscarini et al.
  • 1Water Resources Research And Documentation Centre, University For Foreigners, Villa La Colombella 0634 Perugia, Italy
  • 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Perugia, Via G. Duranti 93 06125 Perugia, Italy
  • 3H2CU, Honors Center of Italian Universities, University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy

Abstract. This paper presents numerical simulations of free surface flows induced by a dam break comparing the shallow water approach to fully three-dimensional simulations. The latter are based on the solution of the complete set of Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations coupled to the Volume of Fluid (VOF) method.

The methods assessment and comparison are carried out on a dam break over a flat bed without friction, a dam break over a triangular bottom sill and a dam break flow over a 90° bend. Experimental and numerical literature data are compared to present results.

The results demonstrate that the shallow water approach, even if able to sufficiently reproduce the main aspects of the fluid flows, loses some three-dimensional phenomena, due to the incorrect shallow water idealization that neglects the three-dimensional aspects related to the gravity force.

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