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.
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.
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.
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.
Tony Qiu and Brian A. Forbes
The RCC design review and construction supervision of the 60m high Tannur Dam in Jordan was carried out by GHD, Australia.
The 220,000m3 of RCC was placed during February-December 2000; change to the sloped layer method was made once the dam reached 15m height. It produced a 50% increase in placing rate and a considerable saving in costs.
The use of the method is the first known use outside of China, where it was developed during the construction of the 130m high Jiangya Dam in 1997-8. The sloping of the 300mm thick layers of RCC across the dam from bank to bank at grades between 5-8% ensures subsequent layers of RCC can be placed within the initial set time of the lower layer and hence the RCC is monolithic across the lift joint.
This paper briefly describes the project in Jordan and then gives specific details of the use of the sloped layer method. Typical results from the quality control testing during placement and subsequent coring and testing of the lift joints are also provided. The benefits of its use in adverse climatic conditions, such as extreme heat or rainfall and the ways it can be integrated with forming the upstream-downstream slope are also discussed.
The sloped layer method is a significant advancement, particularly for large structures, where lift joint cohesion, tensile resistance and RCC placing rates are vitally important.
A. Ahmed-Zeki, G. Roads
South East Queensland Water Corporation (SEQWater) as owner and operator is proceeding with an upgrade of the flood capacity of Wivenhoe Dam. SEQWater has formed an Alliance with Leighton Contractors, Coffey Geosciences, Montgomery Watson Harza (MWH) and the Department of Commerce-NSW (formerly DPWS, NSW) to upgrade Wivenhoe Dam. This paper presents feasibility level investigation and design activities for an upgrade option, comprising a large labyrinth auxiliary spillway at the right abutment of the dam, for supplementing the existing gated spillway in handling the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) event. This right abutment auxiliary spillway option incorporates Hydroplus type concrete fuse gates. The investigation so far has proved the technical viability of this option, however, ranking along with the other three options against various criteria will lead to the selection of the preferred upgrade option.