The Labarre Dam: Fluid dynamics

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The Labarre Dam: Fluid dynamics

Two dimensional simulation of the flow of fluids following a change in behaviour of the gates of the Labarre dam

Projet : 

Impounded in 1948, the Labarre dam is a gravity dam, 15.5m high and 70m long. It is equipped with three 25 ton float-valves destined for the passage of floods from the Ariège river.


During the recent renovation of the gates, their heads were modified. Following this intervention, it was noted that there was a change in behaviour of the gates during down welling and upwelling manoeuvres.  The origin of this change could only be accounted for by the interaction of the fluid (water) and the structure (gate).


Consequently, it was crucial to carry-out a detailed study of the flow in the field near the surface of the gate. The objective of this study, which was given to ISL, consisted of modelling the flow of the fluid around the old and new gates in order to establish if the change in the shape of the gate head explained the effort that was noted.

Mission : 

Approximately ten simulations of fluid dynamics were carried-out. Each of these simulations aimed to reproduce the flow above the threshold for a given open position of the latter. Each simulation determined the following:

  • The velocity field around the gate
  • The corresponding flow
  • The operating force of the corresponding gate


Comparisons made between the calculation results between the old and new gates made it possible to identify the atypical force noted on the new gate.

Le projet
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