Experimental analysis of the effect of adding montmorillonite nanomaterials on increasing the strength of inclined surfaces in earth Dams and the time of destruction

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, Department of water engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

2 Phd candidate of water structure, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.

3 Associate Professor, Department of Water Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.


Soil structures, despite their advantages over concrete structures, are considered as high risk structures. These structures face irreparable cultural, social and economic losses against conditions such as floods. The most common cause of earthen dam damage is the overflow phenomenon, which accounts for 59% of failures (Schmocker and Hager, 2010). One of the ways to increase soil resistance is to add mixed materials with high shear strength to the soil. In this research, nano materials were mixed at five levels with the soil used in the earth dam, and an increase of about 70% of the shear strength of the soil was observed as a result of adding 5% nanoparticles to the soil. Furthermore, other soil properties from the perspective of geotechnical science and soil behavior, when mixed with nanomaterials, were investigated. Hui and Yan(2013) In their research investigated the role of particle size in the destruction of earth structures. By examining non-cohesive soils with average particle diameters of 0.33, 0.4 and 0.62, they concluded that particle size, flow rate and water height behind the embankment have a direct effect on the demolition process  of earth dams.


1-    Al-Riffai, M. 2014. Experimental study of breach mechanics in overtopped no cohesive earthen embankments, Thesis University of Ottawa, Canada.
2-    Asghari Tabrizi, A., Elalfy, E., Elkholy, M., Chaudhry, M. H. and Imran, J. 2017. Effects of compaction on embankment breach due to overtopping. Journal of Hydraulic Research, 55(2), pp. 236–247 (In Persian).
3-    Bucker, M. 1998. Breaching of earth-fill dams: A review of historical dam failures and their dominant parameters. Research Paper. Institute for Soil Mechanics and Rock Mechanics, Univ. of Karlsruhe, Germany.
4-    Cestero, F.A.J., Imran, j. and Chaudhry, H.M.2014. Experimental Investigation of the Effects of Soil Properties on levee Breach by Overtopping. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE. (14), pp. 04014085.
5-    Chinnarasri, C., Jirakitlerd, S. and Wongwises, S.2004. Embankment dam breach and its outflow characteristics. Civil Engineering and Environmental Systems. 21(4), pp. 247–264.
6-    Coleman, S.E., Andrews, D.P. and Webby, M.G.2002. Overtopping breaching of no cohesive homogeneous embankments. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering. 128(9), pp. 829–838.
7-    Danka, J. and Zhang, M.L., 2015. Dike Failure Mechanism and Breaching Parameters. Journal of Geotech and Geoenviron. Engineering, PP. 04015039(11).
8-    Fread, D. 1988. Breach, an erosion model for earthen dam failures. Hydrologic Research Laboratory, National Weather Service, NOAA.
9-    Hanson, G.J., Cook, K.R. and Hunt, S.L. 2005. Physical modeling of overtopping erosion and breach formation of cohesive embankments. American Society of Agriculture Engineering, 48(5), pp. 1783–1794.
10- Hui, M.Y. and Yan, H.W., 2013. Investigation of Non- Cohesive Breach by Overtopping Flow. Journal of Hydrodynamics, pp. 572-579.
11- Khosravani moghadam, M. and Asef, H., 2013. Effect of Mont Morilonit nano clay additive on mechanical parameters of clay soils. 8th Conference of Engineering & Environmental Geological Society. (In Persian).
12- Li, Y., Wang, J., Wang, X. and Wang, J,. 2012. Adsorption−Desorption of Cd(II) and Pb(II) on CaMontmorillonite. Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. 51,pp. 6520−6528.
13- Motamedi, F and Moazed, H,. 2015. Investigation of Retention Process of Cd(II) Contaminant Using Bentonite and Nanoclay Cloisite Na+. Journal of Irrigation Sciences and Engineering (JISE). 40(1), PP.51-62(In Persian).
14- Schmocker, L. and Hager, W.H. 2009. Modelling dike breaching due to overtopping. Journal of Hydraulic Research. 47(5), pp. 585–597.
15- Schmocker, L. and Hager, H.M., 2010. Overtopping and Breaching of Dike Breach Profile and Breach Flow.  River Flow, ISBN 978-3-939230-00-7.PP.515-522.
16-   Torres R.L., 2008. Considerations for Detection of Internal Erosion in Embankment Dams. ASCE Library. Biennial Geotechnical Conference, doi.org/10.1061/41006(332)7.
Volume 44, Issue 1
June 2021
Pages 47-60
  • Receive Date: 20 November 2018
  • Revise Date: 02 August 2019
  • Accept Date: 06 August 2019
  • Publish Date: 21 March 2021