John Phillips, Yu Sheng, Jennifer Henderson
The main iron ore body at Cockatoo Island in the West Kimberleys forms a cliff face plunging steeply into the sea. It was mined by BHP down to low tide level, but the tidal range of 10 metres hampered operations. Being a very pure and sought after ore, various investigations were made to determine methods of extracting the ore below the sea. A coffer dam into the sea was investigated with the conclusion that the soft marine sediments and apparent artesian groundwater in the foundation posed a major risk and high costs.
The mine was sold to a smaller company who proceeded to win useful ore from the island. They also eyed off the undersea ore and approached GHD to use soft ground technology developed for the Derby Tidal Power Project. The soft marine sediments and apparent artesian groundwater conditions were investigated.
The paper describes the design processes involved to achieve dam stability in a space limited by lease boundaries and the desire to maximise the amount of ore that could be accessed. A key to the process was the development of construction techniques and core placement procedures that could cope with the tidal range. Timing aspects were crucial and were controlled by observations of an extensive array of instruments installed for control purposes.
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.
Bill Hakin, Peter Buchanan, Doug Connors, Darren Loidl
To allow greater flexibility in their generation and hence a better response to the peaks in electricity demand, Southern Hydro decided to increase the Full Supply Level of Dartmouth Regulatory Dam by 3.5m using labyrinth Fusegates.
The Regulating Dam is located on the Mitta Mitta River, approximately 8 km downstream of Dartmouth Dam. It 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.
Although this is the second Fusegate project in Australia it is unique in that difficult access conditions determined that construction in mild steel would be the most appropriate. Initial civil works involved construction of a flat sill to replace the Ogee spillway crest so that it could support the Fusegates. The installation contractor devised an ingenious method for installing the huge structures over the top of the gate-house which blocks direct access to the spillway. Design was very much undertaken with the installation method in mind to ensure a high quality project with minimum contractual risk.
This paper discusses the construction stage of this very interesting spillway modification.
Gregg Barker B.E. (Hons.) GradIEAust
Dam safety emergency plans (DSEPs) are typically produced for individual dams. For owners of a large portfolio of dams, this approach creates document control difficulties, requires excessive time and effort and can lead to confusion when a single emergency affects multiple dams having individual DSEPs. Hydro Tasmania has developed a single DSEP which is applicable to its portfolio of 54 referable dams. The DSEP contains generic emergency response procedures, is applicable to a whole range of generic dam safety incidents, uses a simple colour-coded flowchart-action list format, has a two-stage emergency response, retains all necessary dam-specific information and can be easily adapted to any organisational structure. This approach was found to have benefits in document control, flexibility in the management of the emergency response and short lead time in terms of having DSEPs which cover an entire portfolio of dams.
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.
State Water # as manager of Keepit Dam has established a comprehensive upgrade project.
A portfolio risk assessment by State Water of its major dams placed Keepit Dam as the highest priority for an upgrade.
While extreme flood and earthquake dam safety are the main drivesr for this upgrade, the opportunity has been taken to integrate other key dam management considerations into the process including environmental improvements, flood mitigation and sustainable regional development.
The dam, which is located on the Namoi River some 45km upstream of Gunnedah, is, in tandem with Split Rock Dam upstream, a vital irrigation water supply for the Namoi Valley region in northern New South Wales.
In considering the most appropriate way of addressing the critical flood safety issue, it became very apparent that the solutions were many and they significantly impacted on the local community. Other important issues such as water quality and flood mitigation, and overall sustainable development in the valley, particularly system water reliability, could influence dam safety solutions and so also needed to be considered as part of the process. As such it was considered imperative that the local community be actively involved in determining both interim and long-term upgrade solutions.
To achieve the best outcome for the region, State Water since mid 2001, has used the community consultation approach to guide the project.
Currently interim works have been completed and long-term options are being evaluated.
An Environmental Impact Statement on the preferred proposal will be undertaken during the later part of 2004 and if approved, all works will be completed by end of 2007.
This paper will highlight our experiences to date including:
• the proposition of an integrated consultative process;
• the background to the project;
• the need for and extent of upgrade;
• an integrated consultation and communication approach including innovative processes and the creation of a high profile Community Reference Panel (CRP) to guide the upgrade project;
• some dos and don’ts from a consultation perspective, for use in other upgrade projects; and
• where to from now.