J. Matthews, A. Crichton, G. Gibson
Glenmaggie Dam is a 37m high concrete gravity dam, which was constructed from 1919 to 1927. A
design review, which was carried out in line with ANCOLD Guidelines, (SMEC 1999) indicated that the dam did not meet the ANCOLD Guidelines for earthquake. This was despite the fact that the dam was stabilised in 1989 by the addition of 70 post-tensioned ground anchors. Faced with the possibility of having to perform a major upgrade to the dam, Southern Rural Water opted to undertake a more detailed assessment of the seismic loads and to carry out further analysis of the dam using the time history method. The time history method uses an accelerogram to model the forces acting on the structure throughout the earthquake and takes into account the continually changing direction of these forces. It can also be used to determine the size of any permanent
displacements caused by the earthquake, which can then be compared to the maximum allowable permanent deformation of the dam to determine if they are acceptable. The study was carried out by GHD Pty Ltd and also utilised updated seismic information for the dam site provided by the Seismology Research Centre and a geological assessment of the local faults by the URS Corporation. This paper discusses the methods used to determine the seismic loads; the techniques used in the study and the outcomes and follows the process from a dam owner’s perspective.
Russell Hawken, Peter Buchanan, Doug Connors, Bill Hakin
Dartmouth Regulating Dam is located on the Mitta Mitta River, approximately 8 km downstream of
Dartmouth Dam. The dam is a 23 m high concrete gravity structure with a 60 m long central spillway
section. The dam forms the storage required for regulating releases from the Dartmouth Power
Station back to the Mitta Mitta River, so as to satisfy environmental requirements. Dartmouth
Regulating Dam and Power Station are owned and operated by Southern Hydro Limited, the largest
hydropower generator in Victoria.
To allow greater flexibility in their generation and hence a better response to the peaks in electricity
demand, Southern Hydro investigated the possibility of increasing the full supply level of the dam.
After an initial assessment of the economic benefits a detailed review of raising options was
undertaken, including different proprietary products and conventional spillway gates. Following this
review it was concluded that the Hydroplus System would provide the greatest benefits when all
aspects of the raising were considered, including dam safety, long term reliability, maintenance and
This paper discusses the reasons for the raising of the full supply level, the approvals process
undertaken and the technical issues addressed during the design stage, including the required
modifications to the dam and the appropriate sizing of the Hydroplus Fusegates.
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.
P. H. Southcott, R. Herweynen and R. Fell
Hydro Tasmania is in the process of undertaking a Portfolio Risk Assessment of its 54 referable dams, of which 14 are concrete faced rockfill dams. One of the potential failure modes identified during the study so far is a concentrated leak developing in the face slab or joints of the slab, leading to failure of the dam. Current methodologies for assessment of piping failures through embankment dams are considered inadequate for this failure mode. This paper discusses an event tree methodology developed from the work of Foster and Fell (1999) and Foster et al (2001) to address this failure mode. The key aspect of this method is identifying the factors that influence the likelihood of initiating a concentrated leak through the perimetric, vertical and crest wall joints and through the face slab concrete. It is concluded that for the vast majority of well designed and constructed concrete faced rockfill dams that a concentrated leak leading to failure is very unlikely.
Paul W. Heinrichs & John Bosler
Spring Creek Dam is a 16m high zoned earthfill dam with a central vertical concrete core wall storing 4700 ML for Orange City Council’s water supply. It was a 14.5m high dam constructed in 1931 and in 1947 was raised by 1.0m. In 1966 after a week of heavy rain following a long dry spell, an 80m section of the downstream face slumped but the dam fortuitously survived. In 1969 the dam was re-constructed but no internal drain/filter was installed.
Following the 1994 dam surveillance report, piezometers were installed in the downstream fill. Drilling for these revealed that a substantial portion of the zone downstream of the core wall was saturated. The piezometers recorded piezometric elevations that closely and rapidly followed the reservoir level. Subsequent site investigations identified pockets of very low strength fill immediately downstream of the core wall. It was concluded that the core wall was seriously compromised and the storage level was subsequently, significantly lowered, as an interim dam safety measure.
Dambreak studies indicated the dam is a high hazard and hydrological studies found that the spillway capacity was inadequate.
This paper details the problems involved, their analyses, and the remedial measures proposed at the concept design stage. These include a chimney filter/drain, a stabilising fill combined with embankment crest raising and the construction of a 3-bay fuse plug auxiliary spillway.
R.J. Nathan, P.E. Weinmann and P.I. Hill
Current practice for estimation of design floods is typically based on the “design event” approach, in which all parameters other than rainfall are input as fixed, single values. Considerable effort is made to ensure that the single values of the adopted parameters are “AEP-neutral”, that is, they are selected with the objective of ensuring that the resulting flood has the same annual exceedance probability as its causative rainfall. While this approach represents current best practice in Australia (and overseas), it does suffer from a number of limitations.
This paper describes the development and application of a Monte Carlo (or joint probability) framework which offer an alternative to the design event method. This technique recognises that any design flood characteristics (e.g. peakflow) could result from a variety of combinations of flood producing factors, rather than from a single combination. The approach mimics “mother nature” in that the influence of all probability distributed inputs are explicitly considered, thereby providing a more realistic representation of the flood generation processes.
The advantages of the technique are illustrated by application to a hypothetical dam located on a real catchment. The manner in which standard design inputs are incorporated are discussed, as is the relationship of the approach to current guidelines.