Iowa Flood Center team performs one of the first 3-D RANS simulations of dam breaks in a natural environment. Courtesy photo
Heavy rainfall can cause rivers and drainage systems to overflow or dams to break, leading to flood events that bring damage to property and road systems as well potential loss of human life.
A team from the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) at the University of Iowa, led by UI Professor George Constantinescu, is creating 3-D non-hydrostatic flood models that can more accurately simulate flood wave propagation and account for the interaction between the flood wave and large obstacles such as dams or floodplain walls.
Using ORNL’s Titan supercomputer, Constantinescu’s team performed one of the first highly-resolved, 3-D simulations of a dam break in a natural environment. The simulation allowed the team to map precise water levels for actual flood events over time.