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Title: Classification systems for earthen levees : a worldwide review
Authors: United States. Department of Homeland Security.
Wakeley, Lillian D.
Dunbar, Joseph B.
Keywords: Condition assessment
Flood control
Flood protection
Geotechnical engineering
Levee classification
Levee foundation
Levee inventory
Publisher: Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: ERDC/GSL SR ; 09-2.
Description: Special Report
Abstract: Most nations of the world rely on levees in complex flood-control systems to protect hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of homes and businesses, and the lives of uncounted millions of people. With continuing urban growth and economic development, flood-control systems have been expanded and modified repeatedly to protect changing assets. The safety and reliability of a flood-control system depends on the condition of each individually built component. Yet there is no shared or standard system in the United States, and certainly not worldwide, for defining levee-management reaches, assessing levee condition, or predicting performance. A unified system of levee classification should be based on best current practices. This report summarizes levee classification systems in use in the United States, in the European Union, and in Japan. A review of these systems revealed three approaches to levee classification. Approach 1 defines levee-management segments based on geographic location. This type of classification system allows easy identification of each entity of the system under discussion, but provides minimal additional information. Approach 2 defines segments or reaches based on some aspect of condition or materials. This type of classification system identifies the geographic location for each reach and also provides useful information about fixed properties, which either do not change or change slowly relative to a human timescale. In Approach 3, segments are defined dynamically for a particular time frame by some parameter of vulnerability that incorporates risk. The geographic identifier of a reach remains constant while its condition-related or risk classification changes as physical conditions change with time. A dynamic classification system is a powerful levee management tool, with space and time integrated into a predictive system.
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