Steven L. Barfuss and Blake P. Tullis
An important aspect of improving the safety of dams is selecting designs that are both hydraulically efficient and cost-effective. A powerful tool that can be used as part of the hydraulic structure design process is a physical model study. To obtain maximum benefit from the model, it should be implemented as a part of the design process rather than as a post-design verification phase. A model study included early in the conceptual design phase can also provide increased flexibility to the designers.
Hydraulic model studies can often provide cost-effective answers to difficult problems. Some of the issues that can be efficiently resolved using model studies include optimizing spillway head-discharge relationships to increase reservoir storage while minimizing upstream flooding potential, controlling downstream scour, quantifying hydraulic uplift forces and/or overturning moments of dam structures, evaluating alternatives for structure retrofit or repair, and optimizing control gate sequencing during floods. Model studies also allow the engineer to simulate prototype performance (e.g., three-dimensional flow patterns, velocities, pressures, scour potential) over the full range of expected discharges. Quick and easy changes to the model can be made at minimal cost when evaluating the performance, safety and economic impact of various design alternatives.This hands-on model study approach to dam safety represents a tool that in some cases is underutilized.
Brief discussions of several physical model studies conducted at the Utah Water Research Laboratory, Utah State University in Logan, Utah, USA, are presented to illustrate key points of the paper. The primary objective of each of these model studies was to provide and/or improve the safety of the dam and the spillway while minimizing construction costs. This paper discusses the cost-effectiveness and hydraulic improvements that can be achieved through physical model studies.
Keywords: Physical models studies, design, hydraulic efficiency, dam safety, construction costs
Appurtenant structures associated with a dam play and important part to the dam’s operation. For these structures it may be important that their functional and structural integrity is retained in the event of a notable earthquake, particularly when they are required to release water from the reservoir in a controlled manner to lower the storage following an earthquake. Research has been conducted into the current state of practice for the seismic design and analysis of these structures, including review of the main issues for seismic effects, documentation of case histories and review of current research, international guidelines and standards. The general assessment philosophy was found to be relatively consistent internationally, however, the adopted assessment procedures were found to vary. The status of the current ANCOLD earthquake guidelines has been provided in relation to the current international state of practice for various types of appurtenant structures.
Keywords: Appurtenant structures, performance criteria, seismic performance, seismic analysis.
Nigel Connell, Tim Logan and Tim Mills
Leakage from Tekapo Canal, between km 11 and 12, is investigated. A groundwater model is formulated based on construction records, detailed monitored seepage flow and groundwater levels in the canal embankment over the 30 year life of the canal, chemical analysis and flow history. Sieve analysis of embankment materials confirmed embankment fill was sourced from glacial outwash graves excavated from canal cut upstream. Anisotropic permeability of the fill embankment, inferred from the construction method using motor scrapers and vibratory rollers, contributed to explaining inflow to the model primarily from a source up to 500 m from the leakage outflows. Stability of the canal embankment is reassessed considering length of the seepage paths, which are long, hydraulic gradients, which are relatively flat, and resistance of the glacial outwash gravels to piping. The groundwater model that is developed indicated that stability of the canal embankments is not reduced significantly due to the seepage.
Keywords: Tekapo canal, groundwater model, canal leakage.
M.G. Webby, C.J. Roberts and J. Walker
The Waitangi Fault passes under Aviemore Dam and Lake Aviemore in the Waitaki Valley in the South Island of New Zealand. Several studies were undertaken in the period 1999-2004 to understand the geology and faulting in the Waitaki Valley and, in particular, to determine the potential for future movement on the Waitangi Fault (Walker et al. 2004). As part of the Aviemore Dam Seismic Safety Evaluation (ADSSE) Project, a numerical hydrodynamic study was undertaken to analyse the pattern of seiche waves generated by fault displacement and to determine the potential wave run-up on the dam face to overtop the dam.
Ground displacement along the Waitangi Fault gives rise to initial wave trains on the lake surface travelling in opposite orthogonal directions away from the fault line and approximately parallel to the axis of Aviemore Dam. These initial wave trains are refracted by the lakebed as they approach the eastern and western lake shorelines and are then reflected off these shorelines. The reflected wave trains interact to create a very disturbed lake surface before a long-period seiching response is set up due to repeated lakeshore reflection. The seiching response is a bimodal one, with a cross-lake component and an along-lake component. The along-lake seiche waves run up on the relatively steep embankment part of the dam and on the vertical face of the concrete gravity part.
Keywords: Seismotectonic, fault, displacement, lake, dam, numerical, hydrodynamic, model, seiche, wave, solitary wave, wave run-up, dam overtopping.
A. Swindon, M. Gillon, D. Clark, P Somerville, R. Van Dissen and D. Rhoades
The 45 km long Lake Edgar Fault in south-west Tasmania passes through the right abutment of the Edgar Dam and into Lake Pedder, and within 30 km of three other large dams. In 2004 an independent seismotectonic study concluded that the fault had moved three times in the past 48–61,000 years, with the last movement around 18,000 years ago.
In order to better constrain the risk assessment for the nearby dams, the likelihood of a rupture recurrence along the fault was required. Two independent methods were investigated. The first was a comprehensive review of active faulting and deformation of stable continental region faults within Australia, and a comparison with similar faults worldwide with the well studied behaviour of the Lake Edgar Fault. The study results demonstrated the episodic nature of stable continental region fault activity, separated by much longer periods of quiescence, with a decreasing likelihood of rupture following each event within an active period. The time window of applicability of this paleoseismological study is thousands to tens of thousands of years.
The second study looked for evidence of precursory seismic activity in the vicinity of the fault which could indicate an increasing risk of rupture over the next decade or so. This method does not predict specific earthquakes, but does forecast whether the level of future earthquake activity in the short to intermediate term is relatively low, high or at an average level. Using a catalogue of seismic activity for south-eastern Australia, the study concluded that there is no evidence for precursory seismic activity in the area of the Lake Edgar Fault that would give rise to an elevated forecast rate of occurrence of moderate magnitude earthquakes either in the short to intermediate term. This precursory method has a window of applicability of a decade to perhaps several decades.
The combination of these two studies has advanced the understanding of the Lake Edgar Fault activity by both setting it in the long-term stable continental region fault context and investigating the presence of short-term behavioural activity. This has allowed the seismic hazard to be re-assessed as nearer to ambient levels than earlier postulated. This work has applicability for other fault scarps in Australia, both with regards to better defining the long-term hazard (103-105 years) posed by a fault, and potentially also giving advance (short-term 101 years) notification of increasing risk of fault rupture. Better long- and short-term hazard information allows more complete and thorough engineering decisions to be made.
Keywords: Earthquake, seismic, fault rupture, dam safety, risk assessment, Hydro Tasmania, Lake Edgar Fault.
Stephen McInerney, Donald A. Bruce and John Black
An historical database of North American dam anchoring experience has been recently assembled in the United States. This database clearly shows the historical development of dam anchoring technology, particularly with regard to corrosion protection practices over four decades. The results of this research are significant to dam owners worldwide because of the number of examples in the database.
The paper describes New Zealand experience with dam anchoring against the background of the historical practices in North America and the main conclusions drawn from the United States research.
Keywords: Post-tensioning, anchor, corrosion protection, historic database, dam remediation