Runup and rundown generated by three-dimensional sliding masses

P. L.F. Liu, T. R. Wu, F. Raichlen, C. E. Synolakis, J. C. Borrero

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To study the waves and runup/rundown generated by a sliding mass, a numerical simulation model, based on the large-eddy-simulation (LES) approach, was developed. The Smagorinsky subgrid scale model was employed to provide turbulence dissipation and the volume of fluid (VOF) method was used to track the free surface and shoreline movements. A numerical algorithm for describing the motion of the sliding mass was also implemented. To validate the numerical model, we conducted a set of large-scale experiments in a wave tank of 104 m long, 3.7 m wide and 4.6 m deep with a plane slope (1:2) located at one end of the tank. A freely sliding wedge with two orientations and a hemisphere were used to represent landslides. Their initial positions ranged from totally aerial to fully submerged, and the slide mass was also varied over a wide range. The slides were instrumented to provide position and velocity time histories. The time-histories of water surface and the runup at a number of locations were measured. Comparisons between the numerical results and experimental data are presented only for wedge shape slides. Very good agreement is shown for the time histories of runup and generated waves. The detailed three-dimensional complex flow patterns, free surface and shoreline deformations are further illustrated by the numerical results. The maximum runup heights are presented as a function of the initial elevation and the specific weight of the slide. The effects of the wave tank width on the maximum runup are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-144
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 10 Aug 2005


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