Comparative study of laminar and turbulent models for three-dimensional simulation of dam-break flow interacting with multiarray block obstacles

Asrini Chrysanti, Yangheon Song, Sangyoung Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dam-break flow occurs when an elevated dam suddenly collapses, resulting in the catastrophic release of rapid and uncontrolled impounded water. This study compares laminar and turbulent closure models for simulating three-dimensional dam-break flows using OpenFOAM. The Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) model, specifically the k-ε model, is employed to capture turbulent dissipation. Two scenarios are evaluated based on a laboratory experiment and a modified multi-layered block obstacle scenario. Both models effectively represent dam-break flows, with the turbulent closure model reducing oscillations. However, excessive dissipation in turbulent models can underestimate water surface profiles. Improving numerical schemes and grid resolution enhances flow recreation, particularly near structures and during turbulence. Model stability is more significantly influenced by numerical schemes and grid refinement than the use of turbulence closure. The k-ε model’s reliance on time-averaging processes poses challenges in representing dam-break profiles with pronounced discontinuities and unsteadiness. While simulating turbulence models requires extensive computational efforts, the performance improvement compared to laminar models is marginal. To achieve better representation, more advanced turbulence models like Large Eddy Simulation (LES) and Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) are recommended, necessitating small spatial and time scales. This research provides insights into the applicability of different modeling approaches for simulating dam-break flows, emphasizing the importance of accurate representation near structures and during turbulence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1069
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Korea Water Resources Association
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Korea Water Resources Association. All rights reserved.


  • Dam-break flow
  • Flow-structure interaction
  • k-ε model
  • Lamina model
  • RANS model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Ecological Modelling


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