A. Swindon, T. Griggs, R. Herweyne and R. Fell
Cairn Curran Dam is a 44m high zoned earthfill embankment located near Bendigo in central
Victoria. The dam is owned and operated by Goulburn-Murray Water.
A risk assessment had identified that the junction between the embankment and spillway wall was a
weakness in regard to the potential for piping. Initial geotechnical investigations indicated a softened
zone adjacent to the foundation.
The conceptual upgrade design was to excavate the downstream slope and place filter material and a rockfill weighting berm. A 2-D slope stability analysis gave unacceptably low factors of safety for this excavation. The three dimensional nature of the embankment/spillway interface and excavation
geometry was identified as an important factor in the upgrade design.
A detailed geotechnical assessment was undertaken and a geotechnical model developed that
accounted for potential softened zones adjacent to the spillway wall, along the foundation, and within
A 3-D limit equilibrium slope stability program was utilised to analyse the 3-D factors of safety. The
program employed an extension of Bishop’s method of slices to a 3-D ‘method of columns’. A 3-D
finite element analysis was also undertaken to estimate likely deformations of the embankment and cut slope during construction.
The development of the geotechnical model and subsequent analysis allowed the upgrade works to be undertaken with confidence.
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Peter D Amos, Thomas G Newson, Murray D Gillon
In September 2000, pressures being monitored in a geological fracture beneath Arapuni Dam were found to be rising significantly, indicating that a deteriorating condition was developing in the foundation. Two boreholes drilled in 1995 had intersected high water pressures within the fracture in an area close to the downstream face of the dam, posing a risk of major leakage developing from where the fracture day-lighted downstream of the dam. Lumps of clay, bitumen and lake biota, including snails and small fish, were identified discharging from the boreholes, indicating that a significant leakage path had developed. Detailed investigations, the subject of this paper, were carried out from September 2000 to confirm the extent and nature of the deterioration. A range of groundwater investigation techniques and tools were used, while the reservoir remained full, to identify the source of the leak and confirm the path it took. The investigations culminated in development of a groundwater model that described the seepage behaviour in the dam foundation. Based on the investigation information gathered, the foundation fracture bearing the high water pressure was successfully grouted in December 2001 without lowering the reservoir.
Cold water pollution occurs downstream of many Australian dams when water is released from well below the surface layer of a stratified reservoir during spring and summer. Water temperature can be depressed by 8 °C or more and this may impact negatively upon the survival and growth of native Australian fishes.
After many years in the ‘too hard basket’, mitigation of cold water pollution below dams is receiving increasing attention in Australia. Hume Dam is a case in point. Hume Reservoir, one of the largest irrigation reservoirs in Australia, has a high throughput of water (short residence time) and receives unseasonably cold water from Dartmouth Dam on the Mitta Mitta River and the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme on the Murray River.
The maximum possible discharge temperature below Hume Dam may be constrained by geomorphic and climatic features beyond human control. Specifically, the relatively short residence time of water may limit the extent to which it can heat up in the reservoir prior to discharge downstream. Here I present a heat budget for Lake Hume and address the question, “How much can we improve the thermal regime below Hume Dam.”
N. Vitharana, P. Mendis, G. Kusuma and T. Ngo
In 1998, ANCOLD Guidelines entitled “Guidelines for Design of Dams for Earthquake” was issued. The Guideline mainly deals with the seismic aspects of dams and only a basic reference is made to the seismic assessment of intake towers in Section 8.3. Although the much needed and pioneering step taken to introduce this Guideline is to be appreciated and it has covered the seismic aspects of dams, some confusion does exist amongst dam / structural engineers in assessing the seismic performance of concrete intake towers. This is mainly due to the fact the behaviour of reinforced concrete intakes towers is quite different from that of earth or concrete gravity dams. This confusion could potentially lead to gross overestimate of the inertia loads on concrete intake towers resulting in unnecessary expenditure in investigation and remedial works.
The energy dissipation due to inelastic hysteresis behaviour of concrete members results in a great reduction in the inertia loads compared with those calculated with traditional “elastic” analysis methods. This consequently results in significant reductions in bending moments and shear forces on the tower and its foundation. It is very important to understand the basic behaviour of reinforced concrete, considering the composite action of concrete, longitudinal & hoop reinforcing steel, before embarking in sophisticated dynamic analysis the outputs of which are highly dependent on the input parameters.
The authors have developed a methodology in which the hysteresis energy dissipation due to the inelastic behaviour of concrete intake towers is considered. Various criteria were defined for serviceability and ultimate failure modes such as excessive deflection, spalling of concrete, buckling of reinforcing steel. The confinement effect of hoop steel on the core concrete is also considered.
This paper will present the fundamental aspects of seismic behaviour of reinforced concrete structures with practical cases as applied to intake towers. The results showed that the current methods adopted by various Dam Authorities in Australia are cursory and the energy dissipation aspect should be considered, in conjunction with expert advice, before undertaking any remedial works.
Chi-fai WAN, Robin FELL
This paper presents the findings of experimental investigation of internal erosion by the process of suffusion within embankment dams and their foundations.
Suffusion is the process by which finer soil particles are moved through constrictions between larger soil particles by seepage forces. Soils susceptible to suffusion are usually described as internally unstable. Understanding of the suffusion process is important to the assessment of the risk of internal erosion in an embankment dam and its foundation. Suffusion results in a coarser soil structure, leading to increased seepage, progressive deterioration of the dam or its foundation, and a higher risk of toe instability. Suffusion within the protective filter of a dam may result in a coarser filter, rendering it ineffective in protecting the core materials from erosion.
Two types of suffusion tests, namely the downflow test and the upflow test, have been conducted at the University of New South Wales. The downflow test aims at identifying the types of soils that are susceptible to suffusion, whereas the upflow test aims at identifying the hydraulic gradient at which suffusion is initiated. This paper presents the initial findings of the downflow test. Eighteen downflow tests have been carried out on fourteen clay-silt-sand-gravel soils. The Kenney and Lau (1985, 86) method, which is commonly used for assessing the internal stability of coarse-grained soils, appears to be too conservative when used to predict the internal stability of silt-sand-gravel or clay-silt-sand- gravel soils, whereas the Burenkova (1993) method appears to provide better predictions. Further testing is required to define more accurate criteria for determining the internal stability of broadly-graded clay-silt-sand-gravel soils.
M. Barker, T. Burt, K. McCallum-Gaul, Dr M. Barry
The disused Stapylton quarry is located in the suburbs of the Queensland Gold Coast. Gold Coast City Council, as part of the Northern Wastewater Strategy, has included the use of the quarry for storage and re-distribution of reclaimed water from the Beenleigh Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) to the downstream cane farmlands. A comprehensive EIS has been produced, which has strict water quality requirements for the quarry environs as well as the reservoir and outflow. This paper presents the background to the Northern Wastewater Strategy, the requirements for the Stapylton reservoir and the analysis performed for the detailed design of the embankment dam and the inlet bubble plume destratification system. The modelling of the destratification system was undertaken using the programme DYnamic REservoir Simulation Model (DYRESM) coupled with Computational Aquatic Ecosystems DYnamics Model (CAEDYM). The outcomes and implications of the modelling for the design and system operation including environmental monitoring are discussed.