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Field verification of reconstructed dam-break flood, Laurel Run, Pennsylvania

Open-File Report 79-1483

Prepared in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, Bureau of Water Quality Management
By:
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Abstract

A one-dimensional dam-break flood routing model is verified by using observed data on the flash flood resulting from the failure of Laurel Run Reservoir Dam near Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The model has been developed on the basis of an explicit scheme of the characteristics method with specified time intervals. The model combines one of the characteristic equations with the Rankine-Hugoniot shock equations to trace the corresponding characteristic backward to the known state for solving the depth and velocity of flow at the wave front. The previous version of the model has called for a modification of the method of solution to overcome the computational difficulty at the narrow breach and at any geomorphological constraints where channel geometry changes rapidly. The large reduction in the computational inaccuracies and oscillations was achieved by introducing the actual "storage width" in the equation of continuity and the imaginary "conveyance width" in the equation of motion. Close agreement between observed and computed peak stages at several stations downstream of the dam strongly suggests the validity and applicability of the model. However, small numerical noise appearing in the computed stage and discharge hydrographs at the dam site as well as discrepancy of attenuated peaks in the discharge hydrographs indicate the need for further model improvement.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Field verification of reconstructed dam-break flood, Laurel Run, Pennsylvania
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
79-1483
Year Published:
1979
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Harrisburg, PA
Description:
iv, 37 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Pennsylvania
City:
Johnstown
Other Geospatial:
Laurel Run