Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. The effects of the hurricane were particularly devastating in the city of New Orleans. Most of the damage was due to the failure of the levee system that surrounds the city to protect it from flooding. This paper presents the results of centrifuge models conducted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers simulating the behavior of the levees at London Avenue North and South that failed during Hurricane Katrina. Those levees failed without being overtopped by the storm surge. Also included are the results of a centrifuge model of one levee section at Orleans Canal South, which did not fail during the hurricane. The key factor of the failure mechanism of the London Avenue levees was the formation of a gap between the flooded side of the levee and the sheetpile. This gap triggered a reduction of the strength at the foundation of the protected side of the levee. The results are fully consistent with field observations.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering|
|State||Published - May 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Environmental Science(all)