Gateway for:

Member Countries

Catastrofic waves in reservoirs


A New Approach to the Mathematical Modeling of Catastrophic Wave Generation in Mountain' Reservoirs and Development of Engineering Technique to Prevent them

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MRA/Modelling and Risk Assessment/Environment
  • PHY-NGD/Fluid Mechanics and Gas Dynamics/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Georgian Research Institute of Power Engineering and Power Structures, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • ELIN S.A./N.V., Belgium, Brussels\nIstituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale - OGS, Italy, Trieste\nWessex Institute of Technology, UK, Southampton

Project summary

The gigantic (catastrophic) waves generation in reservoirs of mountanous regions might be caused mainly by the rapid landslide mass flows, seismo-tectonical displacements at the bottom of reservoirs as well as by an avia-bomb explosions. These waves are similar to tsunami, however as opposed to them possess a number of specific properties concerning their transformation, interferention, set up at bank slopes, etc.

These large scale waves in reservoirs may trigger dam overflow processes when a large volumes of water overflow a dam crest as well as the rapid dam breaking event, that leads to devastating wave generation along downstreams and may result in heavy damages and tremendous fatalities. The huge dam break and overflow waves in the case of narrow ravines (canyons) typical of the mountanous regions, can propagate along tens of kilometers conservating the enormous destructive effect.

The problem presented is of a particular interest for Georgia and the Caucasus as a whole being characterized by high seismity and rather complicated geological conditions. There are also a number of large reservoirs (of Inguri, Jinval, Irganai, Miatli etc HPPs) located in the region. The abovementioned reservoirs created by high dams have significantly changed the natural strain-stress states of bank slopes of reservoirs, intensified the filtration and reological processes, essentially increasing the possibility of large landslide and lanfall phenomena.

When investigating these waves processes the small amplitude waves and shallow water theories as well as the physical modeling are used. However the results adequate for practical application have been obtained only for prismatic channels.

The above results neglect such important factors as dynamics of interaction of the crushing rocks flow with water in the reservoir as well as interactoin of dam overflow or break waves with bank slopes of canyon.

The limitations of the calculation methods used so far are brought/out by the results of tests developed by us on the large scale model erected in natural conditions.

These factors cannot be taken into account in the limits of usual boundary value problems. Updated mathematical modeling is conceivable only through the usage of the bounded differential equations written separately for different media and representing their properties with contacted conditions at the boundaries of their pisions.

The algorism and programs for solution of the above contacted boundary problems will be carried out by using the method of finite elements, method of boundary elements and their combinations. The results of the research on the basis of the proposed design techniques will allow to forecast of catastrophic waves with high accuracy both in reservoirs and along dawnstreams, as well as to estimate zones of flooding.

These results will serve as a base for the development of engineering procedures to minimize or eliminate the potential danger.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

Promotional Material

Значимы проект

See ISTC's new Promotional video view