Published in International Journal of Geomechanics, Vol. 15 (4), pp. 04014060-1 (published online), 2015
This paper aims to present and validate a numerical technique for the simulation of the overtopping and onset of failure in rockfill dams caused by mass sliding. This goal is achieved by coupling a fluid dynamic model for the simulation of the free surface and through-flow problems together with a numerical technique for the calculation of the rockfill response and deformation. Both the flow within the dam body and in its surroundings are taken into account. An extensive validation of the resulting computational method is performed by solving several failure problems on physical models of rockfill dams for which experimental results have been obtained by the authors.