J. H. Green and P. I. Hill
Early Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) studies and spillway adequacy assessments for Hume Dam adopted the standards based approach of the time. Since then considerable work and thought has gone into the estimation of extreme floods – both the philosophy and the practice. These changes include the general change in emphasis away from a standards based approach and towards risk assessment; the move towards an AEP-neutral approach for the transformation of extreme rainfalls to extreme floods; and the redefinition of both the PMP and the PMF.
This paper details the effect these and other changes to extreme flood estimation techniques have had on the perceived adequacy of the Hume Dam spillway to pass extreme floods.
Kurt Douglas, Matt Spannagle and Robin Fell
This paper describes a method for estimating the probability of failure of concrete and masonry gravity dams through the dam or the foundation. The method is based on the research and analysis of historic failures and accidents performed at The University of New South Wales over the last two years. The method accounts for dam type; age; foundation; height/width ratio; dam performance observations; and monitoring and surveillance.
A dam owner is often surprised to learn that his dam has been listed on a heritage register. This is often the first indication that the dam has heritage significance.
This paper discusses the different types of heritage listing and what the implications are for an owner. It suggests that a prudent owner will find out whether he needs a heritage conservation plan, particularly where redevelopment or remedial work at the dam is contemplated. The paper describes the content of a typical conservation plan for a large dam and how it is implemented.
M O’Reilly, S A L Read and P F Foster
Electronic (bubble) tiltmeters provide an up-to-date technique for continuously monitoring the deformations of dam and dam-related structures. Tiltmeters, with a sensitivity of (10Imm per length), are currently used in New Zealand at the high concrete gravity Waitaki Dam, and the Ohau A Powerhouse, as well as a short-term installation in the high concrete gravity Aviemore Dam.
This paper outlines the performance of the tiltmeters over a period of up to 7 years. They have been used to monitor the reactions of structures to loading changes such as headwater level variation, and to monitor ongoing performance, including the definition of annual thermal cycles. The results are compared with other monitoring techniques (e.g. plumblines, conventional surveying) to illustrate the usefulness and applicability of tiltmeters to dam safety programmes, either in conjunction with standard monitoring options, or in particular where such options may not be practicable.
D. B. Edwards, B.H. Jackson & R. H. Wright
Ground anchorages are installed to support structures such as dams, slopes and tunnels. Failure of anchorages could be serious.
The condition of these critical supports is currently assessed by monitoring the load in the anchorages by either load cells or lift-off testing (jacking). Both methods are expensive and testing may damage the corrosion protection beneath the anchorage head.
A non-destructive testing method for ground anchorages needed developing and the UK Universities of Aberdeen and Bradford developed a testing system called GRANIT with patent applications on the system filed world-wide.
Full scale measurements were conducted during the construction of Penmaenbach and Pen y Clip Tunnels on the UK’s A55, where rock support was provided by prestressed rock anchorages. In all 9000 records of anchorage response were analysed.
A major finding from the research was that the response of the anchorages to the dynamic impulse motion produced by the blast loading depended on how the anchorage had been constructed and on the nature of the surrounding rock mass. If the prestress load in the anchorage was changed, or the free length increased, a noticeable change was observed in the response ‘signature’ as monitored by an accelerometer located at the anchorage head.
Applying a known impulse load to the anchorage head immediately after construction and measuring the response, provides a datum response signature for the intact anchorage. If the anchorage was to deteriorate in any way, eg loss of prestress, this should be noticeable on subsequent response signatures. This approach is the basis of the GRANIT system.
A short programme of anchor calibration testing for bolts was conducted in Hawkesbury sandstone in Sydney during March 1998 and developments in Australia and UK are proceeding.
One of the most important issues during design and construction of an earthfill dam is how to secure a dam against unwanted events which may occur as a result of water flow (uncontrolled seepage, leakage & piping) through the dam.
Although earthfill dams are the largest by volume compared with other types of dams and they are designed to cope with seepage, their integrity is most sensitive to the effects which may be caused by it. The reason being that the earthfill materials are generally extremely heterogeneous and only one “unwanted” pocket is enough to create problems.
Another critical area is the foundation. In many situations it is not possible to avoid the complex geology which includes faults and joints as part of the foundation. An additional complication may be the presence of dispersive clay in the foundation.
In the area of tailings dams, the problems with seepage are slightly reduced as in most cases, tailings provide a degree of sealing. Tailings dams are very often designed as leaky dams. However, there is a hidden danger in approaching the design this way as at any stage of their lives they can retain water.
This paper presents two case histories of repairs carried out to tailings dams suffering leakage. One case describes leakage through the embankment wall while the other describes seepage through the foundation which contains dispersive soil.