Location

Arlington, Virginia

Session Start Date

8-11-2008

Session End Date

8-16-2008

Abstract

The two failures of the London Avenue Canal floodwalls contributed largely to the flooding of central New Orleans due to hurricane Katrina. In this paper, both failures are analyzed and compared to each other since the flood defenses are both located on permeable soils. Photo’s observation and calculations are used for the analysis. Both failures are caused by the permeable sand layer below the floodwall that allowed high pore water pressures to develop below the floodwall. However, the south breach seems to be caused by the piping failure mechanism and the north breach by loss of stability. At the South breach, the impermeable top layer was thicker than at the North breach, increasing the stability. The North beach was less vulnerable for piping and the lack of stability caused a large breach. The London Avenue Canal failures are a clear yet tragic example of the failure of flood defenses on permeable soils. The failures show that multiple failure mechanism may occur and since there are many flood defenses on permeable soils world wide, the lessons from Katrina can be used to prevent future catastrophes.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Sixth Conference

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

8-11-2008

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2008 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

Share

 
COinS
 
Aug 11th, 12:00 AM Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

The Stability of Flood Defenses on Permeable Soils: The London Avenue Canal Failures in New Orleans

Arlington, Virginia

The two failures of the London Avenue Canal floodwalls contributed largely to the flooding of central New Orleans due to hurricane Katrina. In this paper, both failures are analyzed and compared to each other since the flood defenses are both located on permeable soils. Photo’s observation and calculations are used for the analysis. Both failures are caused by the permeable sand layer below the floodwall that allowed high pore water pressures to develop below the floodwall. However, the south breach seems to be caused by the piping failure mechanism and the north breach by loss of stability. At the South breach, the impermeable top layer was thicker than at the North breach, increasing the stability. The North beach was less vulnerable for piping and the lack of stability caused a large breach. The London Avenue Canal failures are a clear yet tragic example of the failure of flood defenses on permeable soils. The failures show that multiple failure mechanism may occur and since there are many flood defenses on permeable soils world wide, the lessons from Katrina can be used to prevent future catastrophes.