Title page for ETD etd-11222011-163016

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Sleep, Matthew David
Author's Email Address mdsleep@vt.edu
URN etd-11222011-163016
Title Analysis of Transient Seepage Through Levees
Degree PhD
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Duncan, James Michael Committee Chair
Brandon, Thomas L. Committee Co-Chair
Filz, George G. Committee Member
Mauldon, Matthew Committee Member
Singh, Mahendra P. Committee Member
  • soil-water
  • stability
  • seepage
  • unsaturated
  • dam
  • transient
  • levee
Date of Defense 2011-10-25
Availability restricted
Levees are a significant part of the United States flood protection infrastructure.

It is estimated that over 100,000 miles of levees exist in the United States. Most

of these levees were designed many years ago to protect farmland and rural

areas. As growth continues in the United States, many of these levees are now

protecting homes and other important structures. The American Society of Civil

Engineers gave the levees in the United States a grade of D- in 2009. To bring

flood protection up to modern standards there requires adequate methods of

evaluating levees with respect to seepage, erosion, piping and slope instability.

Transient seepage analyses provide an effective method of evaluating seepage

through levees and its potentially destabilizing effects.

Floods against levees usually last for days or weeks. In response to a flood,

pore pressures within the levee will change from negative (suction) to positive as

the phreatic surface progresses through the levee. These changes can be

calculated by finite element transient seepage analyses. In order for the

transient seepage analysis to be valid, appropriate soil properties and initial

conditions must be used. The research investigation described here provides

simple and practical methods for estimating the initial conditions and soil

properties required for transient seepage analyses, and illustrates their use

through a number of examples.

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