Accurate prediction of peak outflows from breached embankment dams is a key parameter in dam risk assessment. In this study, efficient models were developed to predict peak breach outflows utilizing artificial neural network and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS). Historical data from 93 embankment dam failures were used to train and evaluate the applicability of these models. Two scenarios were applied with each model by either considering the whole data set without classification or classifying the set into small dams (48 dams) and large dams (45 dams). In this way, nine models were developed and their results were compared to each other and to the results of the best available regression equations and recent gene expression programming. Among the different models, the ANFIS model of the first scenario exhibited better performance based on its higher efficiency (E = 0.98), higher coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.98) and lower mean absolute error (MAE = 840.9). Moreover, models based on classified data enhanced the prediction of peak outflows particularly for small dams. Finally, this study indicated the potential of the developed ANFIS and ANN models to be used as predictive tools of peak outflow rates of embankment dams.
- dam breach
- neural network
- peak outflow
- First received 20 April 2015.
- Accepted in revised form 18 December 2015.
- © IWA Publishing 2016