Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 89–100 | Cite as

Dike-break induced flows: a simplified model

  • F. Stilmant
  • M. Pirotton
  • P. Archambeau
  • S. Roger
  • S. Erpicum
  • B. Dewals
Original Article


A simplified model for the prediction of the steady-state outflow through a breach in an inland dike is presented. It consists in the application of the mass and momentum conservation principles to a macroscopic control volume. A proper definition of the shape of the control volume enables to take the main characteristics of the flow into account and thus to compensate for the extreme simplification of the spatial representation of the model. At the breach, a relation derived from the shallow-water equations is used to determine the direction of the flow. Developments have been guided by numerical simulations and results have been compared to experimental data. Both the accuracy and the domain of validity of the simplified model are found satisfactory.


Dike break Simplified model Control volume Critical flow 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Stilmant
    • 1
  • M. Pirotton
    • 1
  • P. Archambeau
    • 1
  • S. Roger
    • 2
  • S. Erpicum
    • 1
  • B. Dewals
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Unit of Hydraulics in Environmental and Civil Engineering (HECE)University of LiègeLiegeBelgium
  2. 2.Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources ManagementAachen UniversityAachenGermany

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