An investigation of the Brumadinho Dam Break with HEC-RAS simulation

Student: Arun Raman
Table: ENG1602

Display board image not available

Abstract:

The Brumadinho dam disaster occurred on the 25 January 2019 when Dam I, an upstream tailings dam at the Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine, 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) east of Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil, suffered a catastrophic failure. Over 248 people died and over $2.88 billion worth of property were lost or damaged due to the subsequent mud flow and flooding. This is merely 4 years after the previous Mariana dam break affecting over 1 million people downstream due to iron ore mining waste flowing into river basin. To prevent a similar tragedy from reoccurring, it’s useful to examine the cause of the Brumadinho dam break and compare observations with model simulations. HEC-RAS, developed by US Army Corps of Engineers, is used to model the mud flow from the Brumadinho dam break based on the NASA SRTM elevation dataset over Brazil. The extent of the mud flow from the HEC-RAS simulation matches the actual flooding due to the dam break. This simulation technique can later be used for future dam collapse predictions.




Bibliography/Citations:

No additional citations

Additional Project Information

Project website: -- No project website --
Project web pages: -- No webpages provided --
Presentation files: -- No files provided --
Research paper:
Additional Resources: -- No resources provided --
Project files: -- No files provided --
 

Research Plan:

Rationale

Recent failures of tailings dams, such as Mount Polley in Canada in 2014 and Samarco’s Fundao facility in Brazil in 2015, have attracted the public’s attention and brought the safety of tailings dams to the forefront of community concerns. Aggressive pro-development policies that lessen mining licensing requirements and fast-track mineral exploitation lead to severe environmental risk where around 230,000 mining dams are examined and 45 of which could collapse immediately. A new upstream tailings dam failure just occurred in Brazil near Nossa Senhora do Livramento, where tailings from gold mining were stored, causing power failure and loss of telephone services in countless homes. As a result, dam break study is a budding and active field of research that can help to prevent human life and property damage. Early work by Wahl [12] evaluated the performance of three embankment dam breach models SIMBA developed by USDA-ARS, HR-BREACH at HR Wallingford, Great Britain, and FIREBIRD BREACH at Montreal Polytechnic. The study is intended to provide an evaluation of modelling technologies that can be integrated with state-of-the-art dam failure flood routing and inundation analysis tools.

Research Questions and Goals

The primary goal of the research in this thesis is to study the flow of water in a tailings dam break and analyze the causes of one through modelling with flow analysis software (HEC-RAS).

The tailing dam failure is modelled as a dam-break problem in which the dam is broken sequentially.

Procedures

The Digital Elevation Map (DEM) of the Brumadinho area was made available by NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). This mission produced global 1 arc-second, or about 30 meters resolution, topographic data sufficient for the Brumadinho dam break simulation. The distance between the Brumadinho dam and Paraopeba river, the primary area where the flooding simulation is carried out, is approximately 9 km which is the main area. The European Petroleum Survey Group (EPSG) code 29101 projection correctly geo-references the DEM to Google Satellite images over Brazil. A 2D flow area is set up with a 50 meter by 50-meter cell size resolution, resulting in a computational mesh with 2258 cells to carry out the shallow water equation calculations. A storage area is set up to store the mud with a 2D flow area and storage area connection in between to represent the dam.

Risk and Safety

N/A

Data Analysis

Flow-model analysis was done using in HEC-RAS to solve the shallow water equations. These data were compared with the true flow path obtained from Google Earth.

Bibliography

  1. globo.com (2019), Tragédia em Brumadinho: 58 mortes confirmadas, 19 corpos identificados, lista tem 305 pessoas sem contato. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  2. Business & Human Rights Resource Center (2019), Brazil: Judge orders Vale to pay compensation for all damages caused by Brumadinho dam collapse, which killed over 240 people. https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/brazil-judge-orders-vale-to-pay-compensation-for-all-damages-caused-by-brumadinho-dam-collapse Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  3. Costa, Camilla (2019), Brumadinho: Brasil Tem Mais De 300 Barragens De Mineração Que Ainda Não Foram Fiscalizadas e 200 Com Alto Potencial De Estrago - BBC News Brasil. https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-47056259. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  4. G. W. Fernandes et al., (2016) Nat. Conserv. 14, 35.
  5. Science Engineering & Sustainability (2019), Science Engineering & Sustainability: HEC-RAS evolution. https://sciengsustainability.blogspot.com/2016/08/some-months-ago-new-version-of-hec-ras.html. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  6. US Army Corps of Engineers (2019), https://www.hec.usace.army.mil/software/hec-ras/. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  7. Farr, Tom G. et al (2007), The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Reviews of Geophysics. 45
  8. Klohn Crippen Berger (2018), Best Practices for Tailings Dam Design, https://www.klohn.com/blog/best-practices-for-tailings-dam-design/. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  9. WISE Uranium (2019). Chronology of Major Tailings Dam Failures. http://www.wise-uranium.org/mdaf.html. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  10. Agência Nacional do Águas (Brasil), “Relatório de segurança de barragens” (2017); www.snisb.gov.br/portal/ snisb/relatorio-anual-de-seguranca-de-barragem/2017/ rsb-2017-versao-enviada-ao-cnrh.pdf .
  11. Sills, J. (2019), Brazil’s Policies stuck in the mud, Science, 363, 6431
  12. Wahl, Tony L. (2009), Evaluation of New Models for Simulating Embankment Dam Breach. Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDO) Conference, Hollywood, Florida
  13. Temple, D.M. & Hanson, G.J. & Neilsen, Mitchell & Cook, K.R.. (2005), Simplified breach analysis model for homogeneous embankments: Part I, Background and model components. Proceedings of the 2005 U.S. Society on Dams Annual Meeting and Conference. 151-161.
  14. Mohamed, M.A.A. & Samuels, Paul & Morris, Mark & Ghataora, Gurmel. (2002), Improving the accuracy of prediction of breach formation through embankment dams and flood embankments. River Flow 2002 Proceedings of the International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics, Swets & Zeitlinger, Lisse, The Netherlands.
  15. Wang, P. and Kahawita, R., (2002), Modelling the hydraulics and erosion process in breach formation due to overtopping. Proceedings of the Symposium held in Monte Verita, Switzerland. Sedimentation and Sediment Transport. Edited by A. Gyr and W. Kinzelbach. September 2002.
  16. Wang, P., Kahawita, R., Mokhtari, A., Phat, T.M. and Quach, T.T., (2006), Modelling breach formation in embankments due to overtopping. ICOLD Conference, Barcelona, Spain, June 2006.
  17. GISGeography (2018), The Remarkable History of GIS. https://gisgeography.com/history-of-gis/. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  18. Devantier, B. A. (1993), TP-144, Review of GIS Applications in Hydrologic Modeling
  19. BOUSSEKINE, M., DJEMILI L. (2016), Modelling approach for gravity dam break analysis, Journal of water and land development, No. 30 (VII–IX): 29–34
  20. HOOGESTRAAT G.K. (2011), Flood hydrology and dam-breach hydraulic analyses of four reservoirs in the Black Hills, South Dakota. Science Investigation Repport 2011- 5011. Reston, Virginia. USGS pp. 37.
  21. Santamarina, J. C. et al, (2019), Why coal ash and tailings dam disasters occur, Science, 364, 6440.
  22. Folha de S. Paulo (2019),
    https://piaui.folha.uol.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/AereaBrumadinho_interna_01fev2019.jpg. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  23. US Army Corps of Engineers, (2014), Using HEC-RAS for Dam Break Studies.
  24. Cruzeiro do Sul, (2019), Exato momento em que a barragem de Brumadinho se rompe, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V1cM8wM4v8. Retrieved 1 October 2019
  25. Macdonald, A., et al, (2019), Sense of Dread: How a Mining Disaster in Brazil Raised Alarms in Minnesota, https://www.wsj.com/articles/minnesotas-iron-range-likes-its-miners-a-deadly-brazil-disaster-is-giving-it-pause-11571064180. Retrieved 14 October 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An investigation of the Brumadinho Dam Break with HEC-RAS simulation

Student: Arun Raman
Table: ENG1602

Display board image not available

Abstract:

The Brumadinho dam disaster occurred on the 25 January 2019 when Dam I, an upstream tailings dam at the Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine, 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) east of Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil, suffered a catastrophic failure. Over 248 people died and over $2.88 billion worth of property were lost or damaged due to the subsequent mud flow and flooding. This is merely 4 years after the previous Mariana dam break affecting over 1 million people downstream due to iron ore mining waste flowing into river basin. To prevent a similar tragedy from reoccurring, it’s useful to examine the cause of the Brumadinho dam break and compare observations with model simulations. HEC-RAS, developed by US Army Corps of Engineers, is used to model the mud flow from the Brumadinho dam break based on the NASA SRTM elevation dataset over Brazil. The extent of the mud flow from the HEC-RAS simulation matches the actual flooding due to the dam break. This simulation technique can later be used for future dam collapse predictions.




Bibliography/Citations:

No additional citations

Additional Project Information

Project website: -- No project website --
Project web pages: -- No webpages provided --
Presentation files: -- No files provided --
Research paper:
Additional Resources: -- No resources provided --
Project files: -- No files provided --
 

Research Plan:

Rationale

Recent failures of tailings dams, such as Mount Polley in Canada in 2014 and Samarco’s Fundao facility in Brazil in 2015, have attracted the public’s attention and brought the safety of tailings dams to the forefront of community concerns. Aggressive pro-development policies that lessen mining licensing requirements and fast-track mineral exploitation lead to severe environmental risk where around 230,000 mining dams are examined and 45 of which could collapse immediately. A new upstream tailings dam failure just occurred in Brazil near Nossa Senhora do Livramento, where tailings from gold mining were stored, causing power failure and loss of telephone services in countless homes. As a result, dam break study is a budding and active field of research that can help to prevent human life and property damage. Early work by Wahl [12] evaluated the performance of three embankment dam breach models SIMBA developed by USDA-ARS, HR-BREACH at HR Wallingford, Great Britain, and FIREBIRD BREACH at Montreal Polytechnic. The study is intended to provide an evaluation of modelling technologies that can be integrated with state-of-the-art dam failure flood routing and inundation analysis tools.

Research Questions and Goals

The primary goal of the research in this thesis is to study the flow of water in a tailings dam break and analyze the causes of one through modelling with flow analysis software (HEC-RAS).

The tailing dam failure is modelled as a dam-break problem in which the dam is broken sequentially.

Procedures

The Digital Elevation Map (DEM) of the Brumadinho area was made available by NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). This mission produced global 1 arc-second, or about 30 meters resolution, topographic data sufficient for the Brumadinho dam break simulation. The distance between the Brumadinho dam and Paraopeba river, the primary area where the flooding simulation is carried out, is approximately 9 km which is the main area. The European Petroleum Survey Group (EPSG) code 29101 projection correctly geo-references the DEM to Google Satellite images over Brazil. A 2D flow area is set up with a 50 meter by 50-meter cell size resolution, resulting in a computational mesh with 2258 cells to carry out the shallow water equation calculations. A storage area is set up to store the mud with a 2D flow area and storage area connection in between to represent the dam.

Risk and Safety

N/A

Data Analysis

Flow-model analysis was done using in HEC-RAS to solve the shallow water equations. These data were compared with the true flow path obtained from Google Earth.

Bibliography

  1. globo.com (2019), Tragédia em Brumadinho: 58 mortes confirmadas, 19 corpos identificados, lista tem 305 pessoas sem contato. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  2. Business & Human Rights Resource Center (2019), Brazil: Judge orders Vale to pay compensation for all damages caused by Brumadinho dam collapse, which killed over 240 people. https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/brazil-judge-orders-vale-to-pay-compensation-for-all-damages-caused-by-brumadinho-dam-collapse Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  3. Costa, Camilla (2019), Brumadinho: Brasil Tem Mais De 300 Barragens De Mineração Que Ainda Não Foram Fiscalizadas e 200 Com Alto Potencial De Estrago - BBC News Brasil. https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-47056259. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  4. G. W. Fernandes et al., (2016) Nat. Conserv. 14, 35.
  5. Science Engineering & Sustainability (2019), Science Engineering & Sustainability: HEC-RAS evolution. https://sciengsustainability.blogspot.com/2016/08/some-months-ago-new-version-of-hec-ras.html. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  6. US Army Corps of Engineers (2019), https://www.hec.usace.army.mil/software/hec-ras/. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  7. Farr, Tom G. et al (2007), The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Reviews of Geophysics. 45
  8. Klohn Crippen Berger (2018), Best Practices for Tailings Dam Design, https://www.klohn.com/blog/best-practices-for-tailings-dam-design/. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  9. WISE Uranium (2019). Chronology of Major Tailings Dam Failures. http://www.wise-uranium.org/mdaf.html. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  10. Agência Nacional do Águas (Brasil), “Relatório de segurança de barragens” (2017); www.snisb.gov.br/portal/ snisb/relatorio-anual-de-seguranca-de-barragem/2017/ rsb-2017-versao-enviada-ao-cnrh.pdf .
  11. Sills, J. (2019), Brazil’s Policies stuck in the mud, Science, 363, 6431
  12. Wahl, Tony L. (2009), Evaluation of New Models for Simulating Embankment Dam Breach. Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDO) Conference, Hollywood, Florida
  13. Temple, D.M. & Hanson, G.J. & Neilsen, Mitchell & Cook, K.R.. (2005), Simplified breach analysis model for homogeneous embankments: Part I, Background and model components. Proceedings of the 2005 U.S. Society on Dams Annual Meeting and Conference. 151-161.
  14. Mohamed, M.A.A. & Samuels, Paul & Morris, Mark & Ghataora, Gurmel. (2002), Improving the accuracy of prediction of breach formation through embankment dams and flood embankments. River Flow 2002 Proceedings of the International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics, Swets & Zeitlinger, Lisse, The Netherlands.
  15. Wang, P. and Kahawita, R., (2002), Modelling the hydraulics and erosion process in breach formation due to overtopping. Proceedings of the Symposium held in Monte Verita, Switzerland. Sedimentation and Sediment Transport. Edited by A. Gyr and W. Kinzelbach. September 2002.
  16. Wang, P., Kahawita, R., Mokhtari, A., Phat, T.M. and Quach, T.T., (2006), Modelling breach formation in embankments due to overtopping. ICOLD Conference, Barcelona, Spain, June 2006.
  17. GISGeography (2018), The Remarkable History of GIS. https://gisgeography.com/history-of-gis/. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  18. Devantier, B. A. (1993), TP-144, Review of GIS Applications in Hydrologic Modeling
  19. BOUSSEKINE, M., DJEMILI L. (2016), Modelling approach for gravity dam break analysis, Journal of water and land development, No. 30 (VII–IX): 29–34
  20. HOOGESTRAAT G.K. (2011), Flood hydrology and dam-breach hydraulic analyses of four reservoirs in the Black Hills, South Dakota. Science Investigation Repport 2011- 5011. Reston, Virginia. USGS pp. 37.
  21. Santamarina, J. C. et al, (2019), Why coal ash and tailings dam disasters occur, Science, 364, 6440.
  22. Folha de S. Paulo (2019),
    https://piaui.folha.uol.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/AereaBrumadinho_interna_01fev2019.jpg. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  23. US Army Corps of Engineers, (2014), Using HEC-RAS for Dam Break Studies.
  24. Cruzeiro do Sul, (2019), Exato momento em que a barragem de Brumadinho se rompe, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V1cM8wM4v8. Retrieved 1 October 2019
  25. Macdonald, A., et al, (2019), Sense of Dread: How a Mining Disaster in Brazil Raised Alarms in Minnesota, https://www.wsj.com/articles/minnesotas-iron-range-likes-its-miners-a-deadly-brazil-disaster-is-giving-it-pause-11571064180. Retrieved 14 October 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An investigation of the Brumadinho Dam Break with HEC-RAS simulation

Student: Arun Raman
Table: ENG1602

Display board image not available

Abstract:

The Brumadinho dam disaster occurred on the 25 January 2019 when Dam I, an upstream tailings dam at the Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine, 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) east of Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil, suffered a catastrophic failure. Over 248 people died and over $2.88 billion worth of property were lost or damaged due to the subsequent mud flow and flooding. This is merely 4 years after the previous Mariana dam break affecting over 1 million people downstream due to iron ore mining waste flowing into river basin. To prevent a similar tragedy from reoccurring, it’s useful to examine the cause of the Brumadinho dam break and compare observations with model simulations. HEC-RAS, developed by US Army Corps of Engineers, is used to model the mud flow from the Brumadinho dam break based on the NASA SRTM elevation dataset over Brazil. The extent of the mud flow from the HEC-RAS simulation matches the actual flooding due to the dam break. This simulation technique can later be used for future dam collapse predictions.




Bibliography/Citations:

No additional citations

Additional Project Information

Project website: -- No project website --
Project web pages: -- No webpages provided --
Presentation files: -- No files provided --
Research paper:
Additional Resources: -- No resources provided --
Project files: -- No files provided --
 

Research Plan:

Rationale

Recent failures of tailings dams, such as Mount Polley in Canada in 2014 and Samarco’s Fundao facility in Brazil in 2015, have attracted the public’s attention and brought the safety of tailings dams to the forefront of community concerns. Aggressive pro-development policies that lessen mining licensing requirements and fast-track mineral exploitation lead to severe environmental risk where around 230,000 mining dams are examined and 45 of which could collapse immediately. A new upstream tailings dam failure just occurred in Brazil near Nossa Senhora do Livramento, where tailings from gold mining were stored, causing power failure and loss of telephone services in countless homes. As a result, dam break study is a budding and active field of research that can help to prevent human life and property damage. Early work by Wahl [12] evaluated the performance of three embankment dam breach models SIMBA developed by USDA-ARS, HR-BREACH at HR Wallingford, Great Britain, and FIREBIRD BREACH at Montreal Polytechnic. The study is intended to provide an evaluation of modelling technologies that can be integrated with state-of-the-art dam failure flood routing and inundation analysis tools.

Research Questions and Goals

The primary goal of the research in this thesis is to study the flow of water in a tailings dam break and analyze the causes of one through modelling with flow analysis software (HEC-RAS).

The tailing dam failure is modelled as a dam-break problem in which the dam is broken sequentially.

Procedures

The Digital Elevation Map (DEM) of the Brumadinho area was made available by NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). This mission produced global 1 arc-second, or about 30 meters resolution, topographic data sufficient for the Brumadinho dam break simulation. The distance between the Brumadinho dam and Paraopeba river, the primary area where the flooding simulation is carried out, is approximately 9 km which is the main area. The European Petroleum Survey Group (EPSG) code 29101 projection correctly geo-references the DEM to Google Satellite images over Brazil. A 2D flow area is set up with a 50 meter by 50-meter cell size resolution, resulting in a computational mesh with 2258 cells to carry out the shallow water equation calculations. A storage area is set up to store the mud with a 2D flow area and storage area connection in between to represent the dam.

Risk and Safety

N/A

Data Analysis

Flow-model analysis was done using in HEC-RAS to solve the shallow water equations. These data were compared with the true flow path obtained from Google Earth.

Bibliography

  1. globo.com (2019), Tragédia em Brumadinho: 58 mortes confirmadas, 19 corpos identificados, lista tem 305 pessoas sem contato. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  2. Business & Human Rights Resource Center (2019), Brazil: Judge orders Vale to pay compensation for all damages caused by Brumadinho dam collapse, which killed over 240 people. https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/brazil-judge-orders-vale-to-pay-compensation-for-all-damages-caused-by-brumadinho-dam-collapse Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  3. Costa, Camilla (2019), Brumadinho: Brasil Tem Mais De 300 Barragens De Mineração Que Ainda Não Foram Fiscalizadas e 200 Com Alto Potencial De Estrago - BBC News Brasil. https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-47056259. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  4. G. W. Fernandes et al., (2016) Nat. Conserv. 14, 35.
  5. Science Engineering & Sustainability (2019), Science Engineering & Sustainability: HEC-RAS evolution. https://sciengsustainability.blogspot.com/2016/08/some-months-ago-new-version-of-hec-ras.html. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  6. US Army Corps of Engineers (2019), https://www.hec.usace.army.mil/software/hec-ras/. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  7. Farr, Tom G. et al (2007), The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Reviews of Geophysics. 45
  8. Klohn Crippen Berger (2018), Best Practices for Tailings Dam Design, https://www.klohn.com/blog/best-practices-for-tailings-dam-design/. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  9. WISE Uranium (2019). Chronology of Major Tailings Dam Failures. http://www.wise-uranium.org/mdaf.html. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  10. Agência Nacional do Águas (Brasil), “Relatório de segurança de barragens” (2017); www.snisb.gov.br/portal/ snisb/relatorio-anual-de-seguranca-de-barragem/2017/ rsb-2017-versao-enviada-ao-cnrh.pdf .
  11. Sills, J. (2019), Brazil’s Policies stuck in the mud, Science, 363, 6431
  12. Wahl, Tony L. (2009), Evaluation of New Models for Simulating Embankment Dam Breach. Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDO) Conference, Hollywood, Florida
  13. Temple, D.M. & Hanson, G.J. & Neilsen, Mitchell & Cook, K.R.. (2005), Simplified breach analysis model for homogeneous embankments: Part I, Background and model components. Proceedings of the 2005 U.S. Society on Dams Annual Meeting and Conference. 151-161.
  14. Mohamed, M.A.A. & Samuels, Paul & Morris, Mark & Ghataora, Gurmel. (2002), Improving the accuracy of prediction of breach formation through embankment dams and flood embankments. River Flow 2002 Proceedings of the International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics, Swets & Zeitlinger, Lisse, The Netherlands.
  15. Wang, P. and Kahawita, R., (2002), Modelling the hydraulics and erosion process in breach formation due to overtopping. Proceedings of the Symposium held in Monte Verita, Switzerland. Sedimentation and Sediment Transport. Edited by A. Gyr and W. Kinzelbach. September 2002.
  16. Wang, P., Kahawita, R., Mokhtari, A., Phat, T.M. and Quach, T.T., (2006), Modelling breach formation in embankments due to overtopping. ICOLD Conference, Barcelona, Spain, June 2006.
  17. GISGeography (2018), The Remarkable History of GIS. https://gisgeography.com/history-of-gis/. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  18. Devantier, B. A. (1993), TP-144, Review of GIS Applications in Hydrologic Modeling
  19. BOUSSEKINE, M., DJEMILI L. (2016), Modelling approach for gravity dam break analysis, Journal of water and land development, No. 30 (VII–IX): 29–34
  20. HOOGESTRAAT G.K. (2011), Flood hydrology and dam-breach hydraulic analyses of four reservoirs in the Black Hills, South Dakota. Science Investigation Repport 2011- 5011. Reston, Virginia. USGS pp. 37.
  21. Santamarina, J. C. et al, (2019), Why coal ash and tailings dam disasters occur, Science, 364, 6440.
  22. Folha de S. Paulo (2019),
    https://piaui.folha.uol.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/AereaBrumadinho_interna_01fev2019.jpg. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  23. US Army Corps of Engineers, (2014), Using HEC-RAS for Dam Break Studies.
  24. Cruzeiro do Sul, (2019), Exato momento em que a barragem de Brumadinho se rompe, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V1cM8wM4v8. Retrieved 1 October 2019
  25. Macdonald, A., et al, (2019), Sense of Dread: How a Mining Disaster in Brazil Raised Alarms in Minnesota, https://www.wsj.com/articles/minnesotas-iron-range-likes-its-miners-a-deadly-brazil-disaster-is-giving-it-pause-11571064180. Retrieved 14 October 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An investigation of the Brumadinho Dam Break with HEC-RAS simulation

Student: Arun Raman
Table: ENG1602

Display board image not available

Abstract:

The Brumadinho dam disaster occurred on the 25 January 2019 when Dam I, an upstream tailings dam at the Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine, 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) east of Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil, suffered a catastrophic failure. Over 248 people died and over $2.88 billion worth of property were lost or damaged due to the subsequent mud flow and flooding. This is merely 4 years after the previous Mariana dam break affecting over 1 million people downstream due to iron ore mining waste flowing into river basin. To prevent a similar tragedy from reoccurring, it’s useful to examine the cause of the Brumadinho dam break and compare observations with model simulations. HEC-RAS, developed by US Army Corps of Engineers, is used to model the mud flow from the Brumadinho dam break based on the NASA SRTM elevation dataset over Brazil. The extent of the mud flow from the HEC-RAS simulation matches the actual flooding due to the dam break. This simulation technique can later be used for future dam collapse predictions.




Bibliography/Citations:

No additional citations

Additional Project Information

Project website: -- No project website --
Project web pages: -- No webpages provided --
Presentation files: -- No files provided --
Research paper:
Additional Resources: -- No resources provided --
Project files: -- No files provided --
 

Research Plan:

Rationale

Recent failures of tailings dams, such as Mount Polley in Canada in 2014 and Samarco’s Fundao facility in Brazil in 2015, have attracted the public’s attention and brought the safety of tailings dams to the forefront of community concerns. Aggressive pro-development policies that lessen mining licensing requirements and fast-track mineral exploitation lead to severe environmental risk where around 230,000 mining dams are examined and 45 of which could collapse immediately. A new upstream tailings dam failure just occurred in Brazil near Nossa Senhora do Livramento, where tailings from gold mining were stored, causing power failure and loss of telephone services in countless homes. As a result, dam break study is a budding and active field of research that can help to prevent human life and property damage. Early work by Wahl [12] evaluated the performance of three embankment dam breach models SIMBA developed by USDA-ARS, HR-BREACH at HR Wallingford, Great Britain, and FIREBIRD BREACH at Montreal Polytechnic. The study is intended to provide an evaluation of modelling technologies that can be integrated with state-of-the-art dam failure flood routing and inundation analysis tools.

Research Questions and Goals

The primary goal of the research in this thesis is to study the flow of water in a tailings dam break and analyze the causes of one through modelling with flow analysis software (HEC-RAS).

The tailing dam failure is modelled as a dam-break problem in which the dam is broken sequentially.

Procedures

The Digital Elevation Map (DEM) of the Brumadinho area was made available by NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). This mission produced global 1 arc-second, or about 30 meters resolution, topographic data sufficient for the Brumadinho dam break simulation. The distance between the Brumadinho dam and Paraopeba river, the primary area where the flooding simulation is carried out, is approximately 9 km which is the main area. The European Petroleum Survey Group (EPSG) code 29101 projection correctly geo-references the DEM to Google Satellite images over Brazil. A 2D flow area is set up with a 50 meter by 50-meter cell size resolution, resulting in a computational mesh with 2258 cells to carry out the shallow water equation calculations. A storage area is set up to store the mud with a 2D flow area and storage area connection in between to represent the dam.

Risk and Safety

N/A

Data Analysis

Flow-model analysis was done using in HEC-RAS to solve the shallow water equations. These data were compared with the true flow path obtained from Google Earth.

Bibliography

  1. globo.com (2019), Tragédia em Brumadinho: 58 mortes confirmadas, 19 corpos identificados, lista tem 305 pessoas sem contato. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
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