Dancing manhole cover: A nonlinear spring-mass system

Arris S. Tijsseling, Jose G. Vasconcelos, Qingzhi Hou, Zafer Bozkuş

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Dancing manhole covers are an intriguing and curious phenomenon but extremely dangerous for road vehicles as well as pedestrians. They are reported worldwide after heavy rainfall in urban environment. Stormwater systems are overloaded with running water containing large entrapped air pockets for which manholes form an escape route. However, heavy lids cover the manholes and they are supposed not to move. An attempt is made to understand the physics behind dancing manhole covers by means of simple spring-massdashpot modeling. The ingredients are liquid slugs, air pockets, and fluid-structure interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFluid-Structure Interaction
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9780791858950
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventASME 2019 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference, PVP 2019 - San Antonio, United States
Duration: 14 Jul 201919 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Pressure Vessels and Piping Division (Publication) PVP
ISSN (Print)0277-027X


ConferenceASME 2019 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference, PVP 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio


  • Fluid-structure interaction (FSI)
  • Gas pocket
  • Liquid slug
  • Manhole cover
  • Mass vibration
  • Nonlinear spring


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