Breach process simulation of coastal levees broken by the 2011 Tsunami

Tatsuki Iida, Shuichi Kure, Keiko Udo, Akira Mano, Hitoshi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On March 11, 2011, a tsunami hit the Sendai Bay Coast and broke 80% of the coastal levees. The areas around the breached levees were scoured deeply, causing serious adverse effects on post-disaster reconstruction efforts. This motivated us to analyze the mechanism of the local scour in the areas around breached levees. We collected and investigated various data such as aerial photographs and tsunami videos. As the results of the investigation, we found the breach points progressing in two steps. Firstly, the brittle structure was destroyed by the first leading wave. Secondly, the concentration of the return flow eroded and breached levees with the broken points from the first step. In order to understand the details of the second step, a numerical simulation was conducted using a finite volume method. From the result of the simulation, the scouring mechanism around breached levees was analyzed and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-307
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr 1


  • breach
  • coastal levee
  • return flow
  • tsunami
  • two-dimensional finite volume method


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