Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

New criterion for the stability of a human body in floodwaters

Xia, Junqiang, Falconer, Roger A. ORCID:, Wang, Yejiang and Xiao, Xuanwei 2014. New criterion for the stability of a human body in floodwaters. Journal of Hydraulic Research 52 (1) , pp. 93-104. 10.1080/00221686.2013.875073

[thumbnail of Word Paper 160 JX_RAF_YW_XX Journal_of_Hydraulic_Research.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (730kB) | Preview


Extreme flood events often lead to heavy casualties, with flood risk to humans varying with the flow conditions and the body attributes. Therefore, it is important to propose an appropriate criterion for the stability of a human body in floodwaters in the form of an incipient velocity. In this study, two formulae for the incipient velocity of a human body for sliding and toppling instability were derived, based on a mechanics-based analysis, and with both formulae accounting for the effect of body buoyancy and the influence of a non-uniform upstream velocity profile acting on the flooded human body. More than 50 tests were conducted in a flume to obtain the conditions of water depth and velocity at instability for a model human body, with the experimental data being used to calibrate two parameters in the derived formulae. Finally, the proposed formulae were validated in detail against existing experimental data for real human subjects, with different stability thresholds being obtained for children and adults in terms of assessing their stability related to floodwaters.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Floodwater, flume experiments, human body stability, incipient velocity, mechanics-based analysis
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 11/03/2014).
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0022-1686
Funders: Royal Academy of Engineering
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 10 December 2013
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 22:04

Citation Data

Cited 92 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics