WIT Press

Emergency Action Plans: Assessment Of The Main Elements For Dam Break Flood Maps


Free (open access)





Page Range

441 - 453




877 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


A. P. Veról, M. G. Miguez & F. C. B. Mascarenhas


The concerns about dam safety and the consequent need to establish regulation laws for the construction and operation of dams, with the establishment of emergency plans, began to arise only after serious accidents that happened in the past, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. A dam break is usually a catastrophic event. Improved security for the downstream valley, however, can be provided through the adoption of an integrated risk and emergency management system. The document that consolidates the plan of action in case of accidents is the Emergency Action Plan (EAP). The EAP is a formal written document, which identifies the procedures to be followed by the dam operators and principal authorities involved in an emergency situation. With this document, authorities of different levels may plan how to face an eventual disaster as best as possible, working in a coordinated manner. One of the most important pieces of information for an EAP are the flood maps, containing the water depths over the valley and their times of permanence at each affected area, besides the peak discharge arrival time and the flow velocities. This work aims to present the main technical elements for preparing a flood map, which is the basic information for an EAP. In this context the failure of Funil Dam was simulated, in the Paraíba do Sul River, Brazil. In order to accomplish this objective, a pseudo two-dimensional mathematical model called MODCEL was used, developed at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. A distinctive characteristic of this model refers to its ability to dynamically simulate the flood plains associated with the river. The results confirm how critical the dam break problem is and reinforce the importance of developing an EAP. Keywords: dam safety, emergency action plan, flood maps, hydrodynamic mathematical modelling, MODCEL.


dam safety, emergency action plan, flood maps, hydrodynamic mathematical modelling, MODCEL