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Evaluation of barrier lake breach floods: Insights from recent case studies in China

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Abstract Historically, China has experienced frequent barrier lake breach hazards, and several cases have been monitored during their occurrences using complete breach flood hydrographs. These have enabled the analysis of dam breaches to be improved by merging hydraulics and soil mechanics expertise. Some novel improvements to analytical methods have also been published. This study presents the authors' proposed hyperbolic soil erosion and lateral enlargement models, together with a numerical algorithm that enables easy calculation of the breach flood hydrograph. In general, the peak flows calculated using this improved method agree with field measurements and are less sensitive to input parameters. The research outcomes are presented on an Excel spreadsheet (DB‐IWHR, online download available), and these are self‐explanatory with minimal tutorials. This software will be of particular use in an emergency situation, when it is necessary to quickly evaluate the breach flood. This study reviews four large‐scale barrier lake breaches; the Yigong breach which documented a peak flow close to 100,000 m3/s and the recent Baige breaches featuring burst recurrences over a month‐long period. This article is categorized under: Science of Water> Water Extremes Engineering Water > Planning Water
Interdisciplinary approaches to barrier lake breach evaluation. (a) Requirements for water and energy balance. (b) Relationships between shear stress and soil erosion rate. (c) Successive channel bank collapse. (d) Flow chart of the numerical procedures (Summarized from Z. Y. Chen et al., (2015), l. Wang et al., (2016), S.J. Chen et al., (2018) with permissions of all the related authors, copyright 2015, 2016, 2018 respectively.)
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Sensitivity studies (see Table for caption definitions)
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Comparisons between calculated and measured hydrographs. (a) Yigong, (b) Tangjiashan, (c) Xiaogangjian, and (d) Baige
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Engineering Water > Planning Water
Science of Water > Water Extremes

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