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.
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Richard I Herweynen
For concrete gravity dams, when the foundation’s value of cohesion is low, it is very difficult to meet the sliding criteria proposed by ANCOLD. Low cohesion is generally associated with serious foundation defects. This was the case for Meadowbank Dam, with a foundation having persistent horizontal seams containing material of a clayey silt size classification. By adopting the ANCOLD strength reduction factors, it was found that a large number of ground anchors would be required to meet the ANCOLD sliding criteria. During original design, extensive laboratory and insitu testing was performed on the seam material. This paper proposes a methodology for arriving at less severe strength reduction factors based upon a statistical analysis of the strength parameters measured in the Meadowbank Dam foundation.
Additionally, a probabilistic approach using a Monte Carlo simulation is used to give further weight to this argument. This paper concludes that the probability of Meadowbank Dam failing due to sliding is very low and within acceptable limits.
Andrew Pattle and Bram Knoop
This paper provides an outline of a process that can be used to optimise regular dam surveillance and monitoring activities. The process is applicable for a wide range of dam types that an owner/operator may be responsible for. Basic assessments are made of inherent reliability and potential consequences of failure using key factors such as construction features, foundation conditions and observed performance. The key factors are combined to give a relative risk ranking for each dam. These rankings are used to determine specific dam monitoring schedules. The process focuses the monitoring effort on those dams that are perceived to constitute the greatest portion of the overall risk. The methodology is simple and provides a cost-effective framework for setting appropriate resourcing levels for dam monitoring.
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.
Trevor Daniell, David Kemp and Jenny Dickins
Early February 1997 saw the occurrence of heavy rainfalls over a wide area of South Australia’s north. One of the worst hit areas was near Olary, in eastern South Australia, where over a three day period, rainfall totals up to 320 mm were recorded. Within this period, localised, short duration intense rain occurred. In one four hour period on 7 February, about 200 mm fell.
The rain produced floods that washed away large sections of the main Sydney to Perth railway and inundated long sections of the Barrier Highway. Repair costs were of the order of $6 m for the railway and $1.5m for the road. Damage to rural infrastructure in the region was substantial. Flows within the catchment would have been sufficient to wash away most stream gauging stations.
The airmass over much of South Australia was of tropical origin, contained a high amount of moisture and was unstable. Thunderstorms were the main rain producer, consequently the event was characterised by localised, very intense rain episodes. This contrasts with the March 1989 floods, where it rained at a fairly steady rate over large areas for durations up to 24 hours, as a monsoon low tracked across the state.
Analysis of the depth-area relationship for the Olary storm indicates that the relationship to be used for design purposes should be the humid area relationship of Australian Rainfall and Runoff, not the arid area. This is reinforced when it is considered that the 1997 rainfall was localised, not general rain as in 1989.
Investigation of the event indicates that the Olary Creek catchment experienced overland flow, resulting in much higher peak flows than would occur with more frequently occurring “normal” processes. It is possible that any catchment may change its behaviour with extreme rainfall, and produce flows well in excess of those predicted with currently available runoff routing models, or flood frequency analysis of “normal” events.
Alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR) is a potentially deleterious process in concrete containing reactive aggregates, and can lead to varying degrees of cracking in structures, and differential movement and misalignment of concrete elements and mechanical installations. The rehabilitation of affected structures would require information on the extent of current damage and possibility of on-going damage that could be caused by AAR.
Information on the characterisation of concrete components of an AAR-affected dam and estimation of their future potential for further expansion and cracking are provided and repair options discussed in this paper.