An experimental and numerical study of runout from a tailings dam failure

Huiting Liu

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    1588 Downloads (Pure)


    The aim of this research was to study the importance of the outflow hydrograph associated with a tailings dam failure and the resulting runout distance using both experimental and numerical modelling.
    In the laboratory experiment, the 'tailings' - simulated by a Carbopol 940 solutions was released from a reservoir using an automated, sliding vertical gate, with the position to which the gate was dropped. Twenty five flume tests were carried out, using a range of initial reservoir volumes.
    Numerical modelling of the experiments was carried out using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFO). The Volume of Fluid (VOF) method was used to simulate flow released from the reservoir and resulting flow patterns using Herschel-Bulkley fluid model. Comparison of the experimental data with the modelling was similarly excellent, illustrating that, very good predictions of runout distance are possible, as long as the development of a reservoir (TSF) failure can be adequately characterized.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Western Australia
    • Fourie, Andy, Supervisor
    • Draper, Scott, Supervisor
    Award date12 Mar 2018
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2018


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