Seidment slide from reservoir drawdown

Sediment slide from reservoir drawdown

During drawdown of the water level in a reservoir, sediment slides at the banks may occur. This process is modelled numerically for a 2D idealized case, where data from a physical model study were used for verification. The theory is given in the paper by Olsen (2013), which can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page. The reference to the physical model study by Jia et al (2009) is also given.

The three figures above shows longitudinal profiles of the soil, slide and water in the reservoir. The velocity vectors are green. The additional green line is the original bed level. The light blue line is the level of the water in the reservoir and the groundwater level. The figures show the situation after the slide has started to move.

Download small animation (93 MB)
Download large animation (853 MB)

The animations show a longitudinal profile of a reservoir bank where the water level is drawn down. The colours in the animations show the velocity of the sediments, where red is high velocity and blue is zero velocity.


Jia, G. W., Zhan, T. L. T., Chen, Y. M. and Fredlund, D. G. (2009) “Performance of a Large-Scale Slope Model Subjected to Rising and Lowering Water Levels”, Engineering Geology, Vol. 106, pp 92-103.

Olsen, N. R. B. (2013), Numerical Algorithms for Predicting Sediment Slides in Water Reservoirs, Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 18, Bund.Y, Paper 2013.496.

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Nils Reidar B. Olsen

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Updated: 30. December 2013



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