Numerical and Experimental Investigation of the Distribution of Non-Cohesive Sediments in the Body of Rock-Fill Dams

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D. Student, Department of Water Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamadan, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Water Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamadan, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamadan, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Department of Water Engineering, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Sari, Iran


Use of non-core rock-fill dams is one of the structural methods for flood control. Flood flows are usually known to have high sediment loads, and carry high content of sediment into the body of rock-fill dam with large pores that characterize the body of these types of dams. It is thus essential that the sediment concentration be determined at different points of the body so that one could determine the critical points of sedimentation, the amount of sediment passing and the amount of sediment trapped. Therefore, in the present study, a mathematical model of flow simulator was implemented in MATLAB, on the basis of Saint-Venant equations and Forchheimer equation, using finite volume method. Then the mathematical simulator model of the distribution of non-cohesive sediment concentration in the body of dam was developed, based on the model output and sediment transport equation, using F.V.M. The model determines the value of the sediment concentrations at different points of the body on the basis of the gridding from the previous stage. The experimental results were used to evaluate the output of these models. The comparison of the experimental and numerical results seemed to verify the accuracy of the numerical model. The mean value of the relative error of sediments was calculated to be 8.14 percent as determined by the comparison made between the measured data on sediment distribution and the values calculated in three sections of the body of dam.


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