Analysis of Dam Break Wave Using Analytical, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and Experimental Approaches

Evi Noviani, Yoga Satria Putra, Cucu Suheri


This research aims to examine the capability of the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method in simulating the behavior of dam break waves. It begins by building a 2D numerical simulation using OpenFOAM. To overcome the influence of turbulence, we employed the Large Eddy Simulation (LES) turbulent model, specifically the k-Equation and Smagorinsky model. The simulation was developed by applying the Navier-Stokes equations using the finite volume method in OpenFOAM. The analysis focuses on the free surface of a dam break. The results are in good accordance with both analytical and experimental results. The simulation has followed the trend of experimental and analytical free surface profiles at the dam break’s early and late conditions. The low mesh number on the computational domain caused significant differences in the wavefront of the dam break. It reduced the accuracy of the calculation between the water and air interface. This study highlights the importance of understanding dam break wave behavior as part of risk mitigation for dam leakage. The behavior of dam break waves can be observed by determining observation positions at different locations, with the water gate of a dam serving as the reference point. These highly accurate numerical results indicate that the CFD approach employing OpenFOAM can be relatively cost-effective yet accurate in analyzing multiphase problems, such as dam breaks. This CFD approach is expected to contribute to developing mitigation and disaster prevention in the future.


Computational fluid dynamics; dam break; OpenFOAM; turbulence model; large eddy simulation

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