INTRODUCTION
Flash floods occur with little warning and may result in considerable damage to life and property. They can be caused by cloudbursts or sudden releases from dam breaches. A dambreach flood wave propagates along a river reach with velocity and depth usually decreasing with time and distance. Forecasting dambreach flood waves has received considerable attention in the literature (Fread 1988; Singh 1996). The breachoutflow hydrograph is a function of the geometric and hydraulic properties of the reservoir and of the geotechnical characteristics of the embankment. Its determination is usually subject to great uncertainty. From a practical standpoint, given a feasible range of breachoutflow hydrographs at a site, there is a need to evaluate the propagation of these flood waves. For any given reservoir, the dambreach flood peak is inversely related to the flood duration and, by extension, to the timeofrise of the outflow hydrograph. Since the flood wave attenuation is inversely related to the timeofrise (Ponce et al 1978; Ponce 1989), it follows that several postulated breachoutflow hydrographs at a site may eventually attenuate to about the same peak discharge. This fact has been experimentally confirmed in the literature (Chen and Armbruster 1980; Petrascheck and Sydler 1984). This paper uses an analytical model of flood wave propagation (Ponce and Simons 1977) to study the sensitivity of dambreach flood waves to a postulated range of breachoutflow hydrographs. The objective is to show, using dimensionless parameters, that a flood stage resulting from a dambreach failure becomes eventually, i.e., at a certain distance downstream, independent of the magnitude of the peak discharge at the breach site. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND Beginning with Saint Venant's early work (Saint Venant 1848; 1871a,b), several investigators have studied the phenomena of propagation of shallow waves in openchannel flow. In the past century, a substantial body of knowledge has been developed to describe onedimensional flood propagation (Seddon 1900; Thomas 1934; Hayami 1951; Lighthill and Whitham 1955; Stoker 1957; Ponce and Simons 1977). Analytical studies of dambreach flood wave propagation must include all relevant forces, i.e., gravity, friction, pressure gradient, and inertia. When all these forces are taken into account, the result is a set of two partial differential equations of water continuity and motion (Liggett 1975; Liggett and Cunge 1975). While there is a number of analytical solutions for these equations (Lighthill and Whitham 1955; Dooge 1973; Ponce and Simons 1977), no complete analytical solution is available to date. The linear solution of Ponce and Simons (1977) is significant because it provides a good insight into the gamut of shallow water waves, including kinematic, diffusion, dynamic, and gravity waves. The equations of gradually varied unsteady flow in a prismatic channel of a rectangular cross section, expressed in terms of unit width, are (Liggett 1975): Equation of continuity
and equation of motion
in which u = mean velocity; d = flow depth; g = gravitational acceleration; S_{ƒ} = friction slope; S_{o} = bottom slope; x = space; and t = time. In uniform flow,S_{ƒ} = S_{o}, and S_{ƒ} is related to the bottom shear stress τ_{o} as follows (Chow 1959):
in which γ = density of water; and d_{o} = equilibrium flow depth. The perturbation equations corresponding to Eqs. (1) and (2) are, respectively (Ponce and Simons 1977):
in which, generally, a variable ƒ has been expressed as ƒ = ƒ_{o} + ƒ' ; with ƒ_{o} = equilibrium value; and ƒ' = small perturbation. In order to make Eqs. (4) and (5) mathematically tractable, the bottom shear stress is related to the mean velocity as follows:
in which ƒ = DarcyWeisbach friction factor and ρ = mass density of water. Using Eq. (6), Eq (5) reduces to:
The transformation of Eqs. (4) and (7) to the frequency domain is accomplished by seeking a solution in sinusoidal form (Ponce and Simons 1977), such that
in which d_{*} and u_{*} = dimensionless depth and velocity amplitude functions, respectively; The substitution of Eqs. (8) and (9) into Eqs. (4) and (7) yields
in which F_{o} = u_{o} / ( gd_{o} )^{1/2} = Froude number. The solution of Eq. (10) is (Ponce and Simons 1977)
in which
In general, β_{*} is a complex function expressed as follows:
in which
The following definitions apply: u_{o} = steady equilibrium flow mean velocity; d_{o} = steady equilibrium flow depth; S_{o} = bed slope; L = wavelength of sinusoidal perturbation; T = wave period of sinusoidal perturbation; c = wave celerity; L_{o} = reference channel length, i.e., the length in which the steady equilibrium flow drops a head equal to its depth; σ_{*} = dimensionless wave number; and
MODEL DEVELOPMENT
Following Ponce and Simons (1977), the flood wave attenuation follows an exponential law in which the amplitude at a given time t is equal to the initial amplitude at t_{o} multiplied by e^{β*lt*}, in which t_{*} = (t  t_{o})u_{o} / L_{o}. Therefore
such that
For t_{o} = 0, t_{*} = tu_{o} / L_{o}. Assume the wave celerity c = c_{k} = mu_{o}, in which c_{k} is the kinematic wave celerity; then t = X / c = X / (mu_{o}), in which X is the distance along the river reach, from the dambreach site to the point of interest. It follows that:
in which the discharge attenuation factor α_{*} is
and the dimensionless distance is
The wave attenuation is a function of dimensionless parameters, such that
and
During the breaching of an Earth dam, usually the total volume of water stored in the reservoir is released as a flood wave. Assuming a sinusoidal hydrograph shape for simplicity, the reservoir volume V_{w} is related to the floodwave peak discharge Q_{p} and hydrograph duration T as follows:
or
in which q_{p} = unitwidth peak discharge and B = average width of the downstream river reach. The reference flow can be taken as
The substitution of Eqs. (30) to (32) in Eq. (25) leads to the following:
or, alternatively, using Eq. (19):
APPLICATION The wave attenuation model represented by Eqs. (24)(26) was applied to a series of hypothetical examples, varying breachoutflow hydrograph volume, downstreamchannel bed slope, and unitwidth peak discharge. The breachoutflow hydrograph volume V_{w} is the same as the reservoir volume at the time of the breach, expressed in terms of volume (m^{3}) per unit of downstream channel width. The downstreamchannel bed slope S_{o} is the equilibrium channel slope of the reach immediately below the damsite (for simplicity, assumed to be constant in this application). The unitwidth peak discharge q_{p} is the peak discharge calculated immediately below the damsite. For the breachoutflow hydrograph volume, three sets of likely events were selected, encompassing the following breach durations: 0.75 h (short), 1.5 h (average), 3 h (long), and 6 h (very long); and unitwidth peak discharges: 5 (low), 10 (average), 20 (high), and 40 m^{2}s^{1} (very high). Assuming sinusoidal breach hydrographs, the first volume [Eq. (30)] is: 0.5 (5 m^{2}s^{1} × 3 h) = 0.5 (10 m^{2}s^{1} × 1.5 h) = 0.5 (20 m^{2}s^{1} × 0.75 h) = 27,000 m^{3}. The second volume is: 0.5 (10 m^{2}s^{1} × 3 h) = 0.5 (20 m^{2}s^{1} × 1.5 h) = 0.5 (40 m^{2}s^{1} × 0.75 h) = 54,000 m^{3}. The third volume is: 0.5 (10 m^{2}s^{1} × 6 h) = 0.5 (20 m^{2}s^{1} × 3 h) = 0.5(40 m^{2}s^{1} × 1.5 h) = 108,000 m^{3}. Equation (30) was used to calculate the hydrograph duration (floodwave period) T. Three downstreamreach bed slopes were chosen to encompass a wide range of values found in engineering practice: S_{o} = 0.01 (steep), 0.001 (average), and 0.0001 (mild). Values outside of these ranges are considered unusual. The adopted value of m = 5/3 is applicable to Manning friction in hydraulically wide channels (Chow 1959). Manning's n = 0.05 was assumed; this value is judged to be in the midrange of typical field conditions (Barnes 1967). Figures 13 show the results of dambreach flood propagation calculations using Eqs. (24)(26), for reservoir volumes of 27,000, 54,000, and 108,000 m^{3}, respectively. Each figure has three parts: (a), (b), and (c), corresponding to bed slopes of 0.01, 0.001, and 0.0001. The examination of these figures shows conclusively that dambreach flood waves eventually attenuate to the same peak discharge at a certain dimensionless distance downstream, regardless of the damsite peak discharge. This attenuated discharge is referred to as the "ultimate peak discharge" (q_{p})_{u} and its associated dimensionless distance the "ultimate dimensionless distance" (X / L_{o})_{u}. Both are functions, primarily of bed slope and, secondarily, of hydrograph volume, as shown in Table1. An alternate way of analyzing the results of the dambreach flood propagation model is accomplished by defining a dambreach Froude number as follows:
Figures 46 show the results of flood propagation calculations using Eqs. (24)(26), with dambreach Froude number [Eq. (35)] plotted in the ordinate axis. Hydrograph volume, bed slope, and peak discharge are varied in the same manner as with Figs. 13. These figures generalize the behavior of dambreach flood waves for a wide range of flow conditions.
CONCLUSIONS An analytical model of onedimensional unsteady openchannel flow has been used to study the propagation of flood waves following a postulated dambreach failure, under a wide range of reservoir, breach and downstream flow conditions. A significant feature of the model is its ability to depict the flood wave travel and attenuation in terms of dimensionless parameters. The nonlinear features of the phenomena are preserved by calculating reference hydraulic variables at short intervals throughout the simulation. The sensitivity of the routed flood wave to the magnitude of the dambreach peak discharge, a quantity whose determination is usually subject to great uncertainty, is determined. It is found that dambreach flood waves will attenuate to the same peak discharge at a certain distance downstream. This discharge and its associated distance are termed the "ultimate discharge" and the "ultimate distance", respectively. These values are a function, primarily of the bed slope and secondarily, of the hydrograph volume. In particular, the ultimate distance is strongly related to the bed slope, as shown in Table 1. It is confirmed that flood waves traveling in steep slopes (S_{o} = 0.01) have a tendency to be kinematic, i.e., to attenuate little throughout the propagation. Conversely, flood waves traveling in mild slopes (S_{0} = 0.0001) have a tendency to be very strongly diffusive (dynamic), i.e., to attenuate very fast. For instance, for V_{w} = 54,000 m^{3}, S_{o} = 0.0001, and for dambreach peak discharge (q_{p})_{u} is 3.18 m^{2}s^{1} and it occurs at a distance X_{u} = 5 km downstream of the damsite. The findings of this study are useful in characterizing dambreach flood waves through a wide range of site and flow conditions. This should be of assistance in the planning of programs of emergency preparedness and flood mitigation. NOTATION
The following symbols are used in this paper: A = parameter, defined by Eq. (16); B = channel width; C = parameter, defined by Eq. (17); c = wave celerity; d = flow depth; F_{db} = dambreach Froude number; F_{o} = Froude number of steady uniform flow; ƒ = friction factor, defined by Eq. (6) g = gravitational acceleration; L = wavelength; L_{o} = reference channel length, i.e., length in which steady equilibrium flow drops head equal to its depth, defined by Eq. (19); m = exponent of dischargedepth rating; Q = discharge; q = unitwidth discharge; q_{o} = reference unitwidth discharge, for computational purposes; q_{p} = peak unitwidth discharge; q_{po} = initial peak unitwidth discharge; q_{r} = reference (lowest) peak unitwidth discharge, for plotting purposes; S_{ƒ} = friction slope; S_{o} = downstream channel bed slope; T = wave period; t = temporal variable; t_{*} = dimensionless temporal variable; u = mean velocity; V_{w} = breachoutflow hydrograph volume; X = distance along downstream channel reach; X_{*} = dimensionless distance along downstream channel reach; x = spatial variable; α_{*} = attenuation factor defined by Eq. (25); β_{*I} = amplitude propagation factor; β_{*R} = dimensionless frequency; γ = unit weight of water; ζ = parameter defined by Eq. (12); ρ = mass density of water; δ = dimensionless wave number; τ = bottom shear stress [Eq. (6)]; and τ_{*} = dimensionless wave period [Eq. (21)]. REFERENCES

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