Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/33309
- An experimental and computer simulation study of erosion on a mine tailings dam wall
Hancock, G. R.;
Willgoose, G. R.
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Science & Information Technology, School of Environmental and Life Science
- Mine tailings dams pose a significant risk to the environment if not correctly designed, built and maintained. The effect of erosion on a back-filled and capped earthen dam wall was examined by construction of an analogue in an experimental model landscape simulator. The ability of a computer-based erosion model to simulate erosion processes on the experimental structure was examined. The experimental landscape simulator uses a rainfall simulator to create overland flow and erode an artificial soil. At the commencement of rainfall, erosion occurred rapidly with deep gullies developing on the dam wall batter. The gullies developed by downcutting, with consequent bank collapse and slumping, and followed flow lines towards their source. A physically based erosion model (SIBERIA) was used to simulate erosion on the experimental dam wall. Erosion and consequent development of the experimental structure were modelled by SIBERIA. The ability of SIBERIA to model incision and landscape development in the experimental setting was further examined by use of a simple one-dimensional experimental catchment. The laboratory experiment and computer simulations demonstrated that erosion on the tailings dam is driven by concentrated runoff and that runoff control is crucial to the long-term stability of such structures. The study demonstrates that computer-based erosion models can be used to predict how erosion occurs on the experimental landscapes examined, thus providing confidence in their use and application.
- Earth Surface Processes and Landforms Vol. 29, Issue 4, p. 457-475
- Publisher Link
- John Wiley & Sons
- Resource Type
- journal article