This is the first module of a two-part series offering an introduction to the science explaining catastrophic dam failure and flood-wave prediction methods associated with these events. Through use of rich illustrations, animations, and interactions, this module explains key terminology and concepts including dam types and purposes, failure statistics, the general dam failure process, open channel hydraulics, critical flow, Manning's equation, and conveyance. The information covered in this two module series will provide a scientific foundation for advanced course work needed to run dam break simulations and to conduct hydraulic modeling as a part of dynamic wave forecasting.
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