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Internal erosion


Internal erosion is one of the main causes of instabilities within hydraulic earth structures such as dams, dikes or levees. The mechanisms of internal erosion are deeply complex entailing many parameters, a number of which are coupled. In earth structures and within their foundations, two types of internal erosion can be distinguished: suffusion and interface erosion. The suffusion process concerns only the finer particles which, upon being detached, then move into the soil matrix constituted by the coarse particles. Interface erosion can appear within cracks or be caused by concentrated leaks and is then called piping or concentrated leak erosion. When interface erosion appears between two materials with different grain size distributions, it is called contact erosion. This interface, however, relatively large compared to the grain size, can also be located between the soil and the water. In such a case and given a seepage flow normal to the interface, the process is called backward erosion.
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hal-04450559 , version 1 (18-02-2024)



Pierre-Yves Hicher, Didier Marot, Luc Sibille. Internal erosion. F. Nicot & O. Millet. Advances in Multi-Physics and Multi-Scale Couplings in Geo-Environmental Mechanics, Elsevier, pp.291-334, 2018, 9781785482786. ⟨10.1016/B978-1-78548-278-6.50009-8⟩. ⟨hal-04450559⟩
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