How to Cite

Chanson, H. (2020). DAM BREAK WAVE, TIDAL BORE, IN-RIVER TSUNAMI SURGE: WHAT THE HELL?. Coastal Engineering Proceedings, (36v), keynote.14. https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v36v.keynote.14


Flood waves resulting from dam breaks have been responsible for numerous losses of life through centuries. Both the 26 December 2004 tsunami and 11 March 2011 Tohoku catastrophes were human tragedies of international significance. An important point is the physical analogy between dam break waves travelling downstream, tidal bores progressing deep inland, in-river tsunami propagating upstream, as well rejection surges in hydropower canals. The leading edge is a hydrodynamic shock, with a marked discontinuity in free-surface elevation and velocity and pressure fields, and a tri-phase flow with three distinct flowing phases, i.e. liquid (water), solid (sediment) and gas (air). Seminal features of bores and surges include a net mass flux, the breaking in shallow waters, and the intense turbulence at the front associated with massive sedimentary processes and air entrainment in the breaking roller. In this keynote talk, physical experiments, numerical CFD modelling and field observations are presented and compared. Current knowledge gaps are discussed. Ultimately it is argued that the 'solitary wave' analogy is not directly relevant to model the unsteady turbulent mixing of in-river tsunami surges, tidal bores and dam break waves.

Recorded Presentation from the vICCE (YouTube Link): https://youtu.be/SQaPoSj2lP4


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