Friday, November 7, 2014

“Using HEC-RAS for Dam Break Studies”

Written by Christopher Goodell, P.E., D.WRE  |  WEST Consultants
Copyright © The RAS Solution 2014.  All rights reserved.

HEC recently published a new training document called “Using HEC-RAS for Dam Break Studies”.  Written by Gary Brunner, P.E., D.WRE, it is an easy to follow guide for performing Dam Break simulations in HEC-RAS.
It covers topics like:

  • Which routing technique to use to route flows through your reservoir (Dynamic or Level Pool-although I wish they had included my method and Kopsky’s method),
  • Estimating dam breach characteristics, including some of the newer erosion process models,
  • Downstream flood routing/Modeling issues.  For those of you who have or have had troubles with stability while trying to route a dam breach hydrograph, this last section will be very helpful. 
The document also covers dam break modeling using the new 2D features in HEC-RAS and provides some nice example applications.  This document should be on your desk, ready to reference, for every HEC-RAS dam break study you work on.   
You can download “Using HEC-RAS for Dam Break Studies” from the HEC website at
from my Google Drive site at:


  1. hi, i am using level pool routing for landslide dammed lake outburst flood simulation. how do i get the flow hydro graph for boundary condition? how do i model the inline structure(landslide dam), is it possible with the regular methods?


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