Numerical modelling of flow-debris interaction during extreme hydrodynamic events with DualSPHysics-CHRONO

Gioele Ruffini, Riccardo Briganti, Paolo De Girolamo, Jacob Stolle, Bahman Ghiassi, Myrta Castellino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Downloads (Pure)


Floods can transport debris of a very wide range of dimensions, from cohesive sediments to large floating debris, such as trees and cars. The latter increases the risk associated with floods by, for example, obstructing the flow or damaging structures due to impact. The transport of this type of debris and their interaction with structures are often studied experimentally in the context of tsunamis and flash floods. Numerical studies on this problem are rare, therefore the present study focuses on the numerical modelling of the flow-debris interaction. This is achieved by simulating multiple laboratory experiments, available in the literature, of a single buoyant container transported by a dam-break flow in order to validate the chosen numerical approach. The numerical simulations are carried using the open source DualSPHysics model based on the smoothed particle hydrodynamics method coupled with the multi-physics engine CHRONO, which handles the container–bottom interactions. The trajectory, as well as the velocity of the centroid of the container, were tracked throughout the simulation and compared with the same quantities measured in the laboratory. The agreement between the model and the experiment results is quantitatively assessed using the normalised root mean squared error and it is shown that the model is accurate in reproducing the floating container trajectory and velocity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3618
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2021


  • debris
  • DualSPHysics
  • flow–debris interaction
  • numerical modelling
  • SPH
  • tsunami flooding


Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical modelling of flow-debris interaction during extreme hydrodynamic events with DualSPHysics-CHRONO'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this