C.F. Wan, R. Fell, M.A. Foster
This paper presents the findings of experimental investigation of the rate of piping erosion of soils conducted at the University of New South Wales.
Two tests, namely the Slot Erosion Test and the Hole Erosion Test, have been developed to study the erosion characteristics of a soil. The erosion characteristics are described by the Erosion Rate Index, which indicates the rate of erosion due to fluid traction, and the Critical Shear Stress, which represents the minimum shear stress when erosion starts. Results of the two laboratory erosion tests are strongly correlated. Values of the Erosion Rate Index span from 0 to 6, indicating that two soils can differ in their rates of erosion by up to 106 times. Coarse-grained soils, in general, are less erosion-resistant than fine-grained soils. The Erosion Rate Indices of coarse-grained cohesionless soils show good correlation with the fines and clay contents, and the degree of saturation of the soils, whereas the Erosion Rate Indices of fine-grained cohesive soils show moderately good correlation with the degree of saturation. The absence of smectites and vermiculites, and apparently the presence of cementing materials, such as iron oxides, improves the erosion resistance of a fine-grained soil.
The Hole Erosion Test is proposed as a simple index test for quantifying the rate of piping erosion in a soil, and for finding the approximate Critical Shear Stress corresponding to initiation of piping erosion. Knowledge of these erosion characteristics of the core soil of an embankment dam aids assessment of the likelihood of dam failure due to piping erosion in a risk assessment process.
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Pieter van Breda, Alison White, and Greg Carmody
Site works on the $150 million Warragamba Dam Auxiliary Spillway project commenced in March 1999 and were completed in June 2002. Successful interaction with the local community, to achieve an equitable outcome, has been a feature of the communications strategy for the project.
The Auxiliary Spillway is located close to the village of Warragamba, a township of approximately 2,000 residents. The closest residence is about 200 metres from the site. The EIS and subsequent planning documents identified key localised environmental impacts that the project would impose. The main concern of local residents, including a local action group, was the impact on their amenity during construction of the Auxiliary Spillway, particularly in relation to noise, vibration, dust and traffic.
The conditions of approval for the project included a range of communication activities, of which the formation of a Community Liaison Committee (CLC) with an independent Chairperson was a key component. When the membership of the CLC was established the Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) and chairperson agreed that it needed to fully represent the local community – and therefore included community representatives from Warragamba and two nearby villages, the Chamber of Commerce, the local action group, the local school, local council, the dam owner (SCA) and the project manager (AWT P/L).
The establishment of the CLC has proven to be very successful. It has been the voice of the community, with responsibility to act on behalf of the community and to keep them informed of progress on the project. When issues arose during the construction, the CLC were briefed on the particular matter. The CLC was instrumental in resolving these community issues and has allowed this $150 million civil project to proceed without community attributed delays.
Mike Taylor, Paul Maisano and Rod Conway
Daylesford Dam forms an ornamental lake, known locally as Lake Daylesford, situated on Wombat Creek within the heart of Daylesford in Victoria. It is a focus of the local tourism industry and is vitally important to the Daylesford community as a recreational, social and environmental asset, with important heritage value.
On 24 October 2000, the 12m high embankment was overtopped following heavy rainfall and was in danger of breaching. This could have resulted in loss of the dam and lake, downstream damage to roads and the environment and possible loss of life. The overtopping of the dam prompted the Hepburn Shire Council, land manager for the dam, to initiate a safety review of the dam as well as the commissioning of a Dam Surveillance Program and a Dam Safety Emergency Plan.
The spillway is of the side-channel type with a 30m long concrete sill at the entrance discharging into a 5m wide unlined trough and chute. The existing spillway can only accommodate a peak flow of 24m3/s, which represents an AEP of less than 1 in 20. The required flood capacity in terms of the latest ANCOLD guidelines on spillway adequacy is for an AEP of 1 in 1 000 which equates to 120m3/s.
Following discussions with Hepburn Shire Council, and an evaluation of public usage of the Lake Daylesford area, it was assessed that the following constraints apply when considering options for increasing spillway capacity:
The proposed solution includes the following:
D. J. Dole, D. Dreverman and A. J. McLeod
The Murray-Darling Basin Commission is embarking on an ambitious project directed towards repairing the environmental damage to the River Murray, caused by a century of human intervention. Today the River Murray is one of the more highly regulated rivers in the world, with only a 27% natural annual median flow to the sea.
In April 2002 the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council approved, in–principle, a program of structural works from Dartmouth Dam to the Murray Mouth, including the lower Darling downstream from the Menindee Lakes. The initial phase is estimated to cost $150 million over 7 years. At the same time the Council has authorised studies of the environmental, social and economic impacts of 3 scenarios involving recovery of 350 GL, 750 GL and 1500 GL per year from existing uses, for reallocation to the environment.
This paper describes some of the key projects in the portfolio of works under consideration, including:
The paper also outlines the extensive stakeholder consultation and community engagement processes which are fundamental to the success of the project, as well as the various means adopted to enhance the links between scientists and engineers involved in the project.
Bob Wark, Colin Bradbury, Michael Somerford and Michelle Rhodes
The Harvey Dam project is a major component of the Water Corporation’s Stirling-Harvey Redevelopment Scheme, which was developed to provide potable water to Perth. The scheme will deliver 34 GL/annum or about 10% of Perth’s supply. The project timetable was tight. The decision to proceed with the scheme, made in June 1998, required Harvey Dam to be ready to impound water by June 2002.
Construction of the Harvey Dam was complicated by the following:
These and other issues required the development of risk management strategies for the project. The construction risks were allocated within the contract to provide for an equitable sharing of risk between the Contractor and the Principal. The paper describes the development and implementation of the risk management strategies and what lessons have been learnt from the process.
Tom Ryan, Charles Todd and Simon Nicol
The potential impacts of cold water releases on the downstream thermal regime include: reducing the seasonal temperature range (lowering of the maximum and raising the minimum); reducing the diurnal temperature variation; rapid temperature changes; and delaying the seasonal warming of stream temperatures. Recent investigations have identified at least 20 large dams within Victoria, that have the potential to release cold water from below the hypolimnium. A monitoring program is currently being implemented in Victoria to identify the occurrence of cold water releases and to estimate the extent of the downstream impacts.
Cold water releases have been shown to impact the biological processes within aquatic ecosystems and consequently reduce the natural productivity. The physiological development of native freshwater fish can be impacted in a number of ways. Growth and reproductive development of adult fish is impacted while the survival of eggs and larvae can also be retarded. As a result, the sustainability and viability of native fish populations are greatly compromised.
Using stream temperature data from the Mitta Mitta River downstream of Dartmouth Dam, the decline of the native fish populations, due to cold water releases, can be demonstrated under current operating conditions. The decline in population numbers can be further demonstrated with the use of a simple age-based population model for Murray Cod. The spawning opportunity and survival of egg and larvae can be improved for Murray Cod by increasing the overall spring release temperatures by 2, 4, 6 and 8 oC. The population model adjusted for these thermal improvements, results in increased survival prospects for the Murray Cod population.