Document Type


Publication Date



Statler College of Engineering and Mining Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering


The amount of released water (discharge) in a levee breach is a primary input variable to establish an emergency action plan for the area next to the levee. However, although several studies have been conducted, there is still no widely applicable discharge coefficient formula; this needs to be known to estimate discharge amount through an opening caused by a levee breach. Sometimes, the discharge coefficient developed for a sharp crested side weir is used to rate the discharge, but, in case of a levee breach, the resulting geometry and flow types are similar to that over a broad crested weir. Thus, in this study, two different openings—rectangular and trapezoidal shape—are constructed in the center of a levee at a height of 0.6m to replicate levee breach scenarios, and the effect of two different approach flow types—the river type approach and reservoir type approach—are explored to suggest a discharge coefficient formula applicable for discharge rating for a levee breach. The results show that the ratio of head above the bottom of an opening and the opening width is a key variable for calculating the discharge coefficient of a reservoir type, but the approach Froude number should also be considered for a river type approach. The measured data are used to improve rating equations and will be useful in the future to validate computational fluid dynamics simulations of wave propagation during levee failure into the inundation area.

Source Citation

Lee, S. O., Yoon, K. S., Lee, J. S., & Hong, S. H. (2019). Estimates of Discharge Coefficient in Levee Breach Under Two Different Approach Flow Types. Sustainability, 11(8), 2374.


© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.