Articles | Volume 21, issue 1
Research article
07 Jan 2021
Research article |  | 07 Jan 2021

Modelling the Brumadinho tailings dam failure, the subsequent loss of life and how it could have been reduced

Darren Lumbroso, Mark Davison, Richard Body, and Gregor Petkovšek

Data sets

Brumadinho tailings dam, Brazil model animations of mudflow and risk to people plus GIS files, Version 1 D. Lumbroso

Short summary
A tailings dam is an earth embankment used to store the waste from mines, known as tailings. In 2019, the Brumadinho tailings dam in Brazil failed, releasing a mudflow which killed ~ 300 people. This paper details the use of an agent-based model to estimate the risk to people downstream of this dam. The agent-based model represents each individual person. The modelling indicated that if a warning had been issued as the dam failed, the number of fatalities could have been reduced.
Final-revised paper