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Tony L. Wahl, Gregory J. Hanson, and Pierre-Louis Regazzoni. 2009. "Quantifying Erodibility of Embankment Materials for the Modeling of Dam Breach Processes". Bureau of Reclamation, Report Number PAP-1000.

Abstract: Two methods of soil erodibility testing, the hole erosion test (HET) and submerged jet erosion test (JET), were evaluated for potential application to the modeling of embankment dam erosion and breach processes. The two methods were compared by using them to determine erodibility parameters for similarly prepared remolded soil specimens covering a range of cohesive soils. The methods produced significantly different quantitative estimates of the detachment rate coefficient and the threshold shear stress needed to initiate erosion. Differences in erodibility between the test methods were one or more orders of magnitude in erosion rate and two or more orders of magnitude for the threshold shear stress, but both tests produced results that seemed consistent with a single relation between erosion rate and threshold shear stress. Differences between HET and JET results are believed to be due to simplified stress descriptions used to analyze each test and fundamental differences in the mechanisms of erosion exploited in each test environment. The JET proved to be a more easily applied test method, with a higher ratio of successful tests and a greater ability to successfully test soils of widely varying erodibility. The JET also has the advantage of being suitable for in situ field testing wherever a soil surface of interest can be exposed. The significant differences in the magnitude of the erodibility parameters produced by each test make it crucial for numerical models of dam erosion and breach processes to be designed and applied with awareness of those differences.

Web Link: http://www.usbr.gov/pmts/hydraulics_lab/pubs/PAP/PAP-1000.pdf

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