2002 – Seismic Assessment of Wyangala Concrete Gravity Dam and Intake Towers

N. Vitharana, G. Bell, J. Jensen and J. Sinha

When the storage was enlarged in 1971, Wyangala Dam provided a storage of 1220Gl. The original concrete gravity dam was completed in 1936 with an initial storage of 37.5Gl. The enlargement comprised the construction of a central core earth and rockfill dam utilising the existing concrete gravity as an upstream “toe” dam. At its deepest section, the toe (concrete gravity) dam is 60m high with a base length of 40m. The rockfill dam is 85m and the full supply level is at 75m. Two cylindrical reinforced concrete intake towers were constructed utilising the crest of the toe dam as their bases.

Screening level analyses commissioned by The NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation have recommended that detailed seismic assessment of the toe dam and intake towers be undertaken. In 2001, GHD Pty Ltd undertook inelastic time-history analysis using site-specific seismic loadings. Toe dam was modelled together with the rockfill dam using a 2-dimensional model. Intake towers were modelled incorporating the composite behaviour of concrete and reinforcing steel with limited concrete strains to prevent the loss of cover concrete and the buckling of longitudinal steel. Time-history analyses supplements by conventional pseudo-dynamic analysis procedures.

This paper described the constitutive modelling, structural analysis criteria, evaluation of hydrodynamic and dynamic earth pressures and the findings.


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