Ritter’s dry-bed dam-break flows: positive and negative wave dynamics

Castro-Orgaz, Oscar and Chanson, Hubert (2017) Ritter’s dry-bed dam-break flows: positive and negative wave dynamics. Environmental Fluid Mechanics, 1-30. doi:10.1007/s10652-017-9512-5


Author Castro-Orgaz, Oscar
Chanson, Hubert
Title Ritter’s dry-bed dam-break flows: positive and negative wave dynamics
Journal name Environmental Fluid Mechanics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1573-1510
1567-7419
Publication date 2017-02-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10652-017-9512-5
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Start page 1
End page 30
Total pages 30
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Abstract Dam-break flood waves are associated with major environmental disasters provoked by the sudden release of water stored in reservoirs. Ritter found in 1892 an analytical solution to the wave structure of an ideal fluid released during an instantaneous dam failure, propagating over initially dry horizontal terrain. This solution, though ideal, hence frictionless, is widely used to test numerical solutions of the Shallow Water Equations (SWE), and as educational tool in courses of fluid mechanics, given that it is a peculiar case of the Riemann problem. However, the real wave structure observed experimentally differs in a major portion of the wave profile, including the positive and negative fronts. Given the importance of an accurate prediction of the dam break wave, the positive and negative wave portions originating from the breaking of a dam with initially dry land on the tailwater reach are revisited in this work. First, the propagation features of the dry-front are investigated using an analytical boundary-layer type model (Whitham/Dressler/Chanson model) constructed matching an (outer) inviscid dynamic wave to an (inner) viscous diffusive wave. The analytical solution is evaluated using an accurate numerical solution of the SWE produced using the MUSCL-Hancock finite-volume method, which is tested independently obtaining the solution based on the discontinuous Galerkin finite-element method. The propagation features of the negative wave are poorly reproduced by the SWE during the initial stages of dam break flows, and, thus, are then investigated using the Serre–Green–Naghdi equations for weakly-dispersive fully non-linear water waves, which are solved using a finite volume-finite difference scheme.
Keyword Dam-break wave
Dry-front
Rarefaction wave
Ritter’s solution
Saint-Venant equations
Serre–Green–Nagdhi equations
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
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