Multiphase Flow Simulations through Tarbela Dam Spillways and Tunnels

Muhammad Abid, Muftooh Siddiqi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tarbela dam is one of the largest earth filled dam in the world used for power generation and irrigation purposes. Like all reservoirs the sediments inflow in the Tarbela reservoir has resulted in reduction in water storage capacity and is also causing damage to the tunnels, power generating units and ultimately to the plant equipment. This numerical study was performed to predict the flow patterns and characteristics in Tarbela dam. Tunnel 3 and 4 inlets; originally on the bed level were raised in the 3-D model and meshed. Analysis was performed using multiphase flow (water and air) for maximum inflow in the reservoir, i.e., considering summer season and discharging water through different locations, i.e., tunnels and spillways. Pressure, velocities, flow rate and free surface height results obtained were found in good agreement with the analytical and existing results where available. Results show uneven discharge through each gate due to maximum velocity near exits and overall stagnant phenomena of water within the reservoir. Maximum velocity was observed along the spillways outlet. Strong vortex motion was observed near the spillways outlet and tunnel inlets. New design of Tunnel 3 and 4 were suggested to WAPDA in order to decrease the sediment inflow and improvements in design of the spillways were suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-539
JournalJournal of Water Resource and Protection
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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