Gary Hargraves, Russ McConnell and John Ruffini
The acceptance of the use of generalised methods for estimating extreme rainfall has resulted in a growth of the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) estimates that spillways of dams are required to pass. In many cases spillways were not designed with spare capacity and are incapable of safely passing the new PMF estimates. Dealing effectively with the potential for dams to cause damage and loss requires a risk management approach. Such an approach requires more reliable tools for estimation of rainfall. This paper examines the issues, the progress made, and outlines further work and options for clarifying risk.
Jim Walker, Murray Gillon and John Grimston
Karapiro Dam is at the end of a cascade of hydropower dams on the Waikato River in New Zealand’s North Island. The 52m high, high hazard, arch dam retains the lake for a 96MW power station at its downstream toe. Safety reviews recommended a re-evaluation of the dam stability under seismic loading.
Dam owner, Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ), commissioned consultants Tonkin & Taylor Ltd to carry out a series of studies and investigations which provided better understanding of the dam’s safety status. Investigations located a previously unrecorded continuous low strength thrust fault underlying the left abutment. This provided the potential for movement of the left abutment gravity blocks under earthquake loading, with adverse effects on arch dam and reservoir safety. Investigations showed the abutment cut off walls to be lower than the PMF lake level. High groundwater levels and erodible pumiceous soils were found at the left abutment. These findings prompted ECNZ to implement stability enhancement works.
This paper describes the studies and investigations, peer review process, and design and construction of enhancement works.
Robert J. Parker
This paper examines the current trends in the construction of Roller Compacted Concrete Dams in Australia and Internationally. Certain recent trends to processes such as grout enriched vibratable RCC will assist both the cost effectiveness and simplicity of this type of dam construction. Key issues considered are: I. The trend is to use less conventional concrete in the structure and grout enriched RCC against contact surfaces are the means of achieving this. 2. Proportionally greater use is being made of high paste mixes 3. In order to maximise placing rates, keep it simple 4. Aggregates should be manufactured in not less than three sizes and preferably four if segregation is to be controlled
Andrew Day, Rod Bridges and Corrado Fabbri
A joint venture between Astaldi SpA of Italy and Thiess Contractors Pty Ltd of Australia (ATJO) has just completed a 95m high roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The dam which includes 528,000m’ of RCC was completed in September 1999 and will provide hydro-electric power for a nearby nickel smelting operation.
One of the largest RCC dams built in the region in recent times, the construction presented a number of unique challenges in particular placing techniques to cope with the heavy rainfall in the area as well the logistics to this remote location. Other aspects which are addressed in the paper include production rates, RCC placing systems (Rotec), dam formwork systems, aggregate sources, RCC mixes and waterproofing (membrane).
After early problems with the river diversion, the works were accelerated and completed to a very tight program. To enable dam construction to commence prior to river diversion the wall was advanced as a series of separate monoliths which led to a number of RCC placing innovations.
The role of judgement in risk assessments as applied in dam safety management has been the source of considerable debate in recent years. With regard to risk analysis of dams, and while there is general agreement that judgement is an essential element of the process, essentially two schools of thought have emerged. One view holds that, in the assignment of probabilities, reliance can be based on collective engineering judgement that is anchored to a knowledge base. The second view holds that judgement should be based on the knowledge that is revealed by an appropriate amount of analysis. The paper, written from the perspective of the latter view, explores some of the underlying issues in this debate.
The role of judgement in risk evaluation, the process of judging the significance of risk, is considered to be equally important. However, the process of making value judgements and statements of principles is complex and often beyond the sphere of engineering. The third issue addressed in the paper concerns the search for answers to the question, “How good is the assessment?”