Study of the effect of burrows of European Badgers (Meles meles) on the initiation of breaching in dikes
1 Delft University of Technology, Civil Engineering, 2628 CD Delft, Netherlands
2 Deltares, 2629 HD Delft, Netherlands
a Corresponding author: MariaLuisa.Taccari@deltares.nl
Levees offer an ideal environment for the diffusion of European Badgers (Meles Meles), whose burrowing activity can be a main cause of breaching in dikes. This paper evaluates the contribution of burrows dug by badgers to the initiation of a dike failure. For example, a breach in a dike near Modena (Italy), where animal burrowing activity was active, took place on the 19th January 2014. While the distribution of the underground system inside the dike is usually unknown, the burrow entrances are easily identified along the slopes. Different scenarios of burrow entrances located along the outer and inner slope are considered and their contribution to sliding of the inner slope, micro-instability and internal erosion is investigated. The most dangerous positions of entrances for the stability of the dike are assessed and presented.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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