News

EMBREA-MUD

Although the failure of a tailings dam can have disastrous consequences, up to this date it had not been possible to accurately simulate them. EMBREA-MUD is a model developed by HR Wallingford with the aim of filling the gap that arose during the development of DAMSAT when the team was analysing the potential impacts associated to the failure of tailings dams.

The model is a two component breach modelling tool that simultaneously takes into account outflows of both water and mud (i.e. tailings). The model can also represent erosion of dam material by both water and tailings, erosion of tailings by water as well as the dynamic forces between water and tailings layer.

Dr. Mohamed Hassan of HR Wallingford presented a paper about EMBREA-MUD in INCOLD 2021. The paper aims to describe the details of the EMBREA-MUD model and its application to a number of test cases including the well-known case of Mount Polley.

The paper can be downloaded from our Resources page.

Symposium INCOLD 2021

The International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) is an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to promote the exchange of knowledge and information about dam engineering. ICOLD leads the profession in setting standards and guidelines to ensure that dams are built and operated safely, efficiently, economically, and are environmentally sustainable and socially equitable. ICOLD currently has more than 101 National Committees and nearly 10,000 individual members around the world.

ICOLD holds an Annual Meeting where representatives from member countries discuss technical, economic and administrative issues. In addition, every three years the Committee organises a Symposium where novel topics related to dam engineering are presented and discussed.

Due to COVID-19, the Congress scheduled for 2020 in New Delhi (India) has been postponed to April 2023. However, The Indian National Committee on Large Dams (INCOLD) has organised a Hybrid Symposium (virtual and physical) about Sustainable Development of Dams and River Basins, which will be held between the 24 and the 27 February.

Dr. Mohamed Hassan of HR Wallingford will present on Wednesday 24th and Saturday 27th two papers related to the EMBREA and EMBREA-MUD tools, which were used to simulate the failure of the dams included in DAMSAT. The presentations will be available to ICOLD delegates and can be accessed via the following link.

For more information about the event, please visit the INCOLD 2021 web page.

Space to Connect 2021

Space to Connect is an annual event organised by the UK Space Agency to promote the use and application of innovative satellite technologies for different sectors. This year, Dr Kavitha Muthu, HR Wallingford’s Earth Observation Business Development Leader, was invited to participate in a panel about inclusion and diversity in working environments.

During her intervention, Kavitha shared her experience of how the space sector has the ability to attract, develop and retain talented professionals while at the same time can promote diversity and social inclusion.

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Latest publications

We are pleased to announce that our most recent article: “A Two-Fluid Simulation of Tailings Dam Breaching” has been published in the Water Mining and the Environment Journal. This work presents the development and application of a dam breach model, EMBREA-MUD, which is able to simulate the failure of tailings dams and the behavior of liquefied fluids. It is worth mentioning that this one of models used in DAMSAT to estimate the potential risks and consequences associated to the failure of the tailings dams.

Also, last month a group of HR Wallingford published an article in the Special Edition of Tailings Dams of the Water Mining and the Environment Journal called: “DAMSAT: an eye in the sky for monitoring tailings dams“. This publication explains how the methods developed in DAMSAT can help government authorities, owners and mine operators to reduce the risks and increase the sustainability of the mining industry.

Furthermore, a group of HR Wallingford in collaboration with the University of Oxford wrote an article titled: “The potential to reduce the risks posed by tailings dams using satellite-based information“, published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction in August 2019.

This paper describes how an EO-based service allows the cost effective monitoring of tailings dams, and also helps to forecast any potentially risk associated to these structures several weeks in advance. The article also examines, how these systems could help low income countries to adequately monitor mining operations, whilst allowing timely preventative interventions to be made where the probability of failure is found to be high.

The three publications can be downloaded from our Resources page

International Virtual Exhibition – San Juan, key province for Argentina mining development

Anastasia Bolton from CATAPULT, one of the project partners, will be presenting DAMSAT in an International Virtual Exhibition organised by Panorama Minero. It’s a free virtual event and you only need to register your participation in the following link. After you’ve registered, you can access the conference through the Virtual Exhibition platform.

The details of the event are as follows:

For more information about the event, please visit the following link.