Although the failure of a tailings dam can have disastrous consequences, up to this date it had not been possible to accurately simulate them. EMBREA-MUD is a model developed by HR Wallingford with the aim of filling the gap that arose during the development of DAMSAT when the team was analysing the potential impacts associated to the failure of tailings dams.

The model is a two component breach modelling tool that simultaneously takes into account outflows of both water and mud (i.e. tailings). The model can also represent erosion of dam material by both water and tailings, erosion of tailings by water as well as the dynamic forces between water and tailings layer.

Dr. Mohamed Hassan of HR Wallingford presented a paper about EMBREA-MUD in INCOLD 2021. The paper aims to describe the details of the EMBREA-MUD model and its application to a number of test cases including the well-known case of Mount Polley.

The paper can be downloaded from our Resources page.