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.
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Dörte Jakob, Robert Smalley, Jeanette Meighen, Brian Taylor and Karin Xuereb
Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) is one of the required inputs for estimating the PMP design flood. In estimating the PMP, currently no allowance is made for long-term climatic trends. A 2-year project funded jointly by the Australian Greenhouse Office and the Queensland Department for Natural Resources and Water, and with in-kind contributions by the Bureau of Meteorology began in May 2006. This study aims to assess how climate change might affect estimates of PMP. Preliminary results from this work will be presented.
Changes in factors used in PMP estimation, such as storm type and depth-duration-area curves, were assessed using a storm database covering the period 1893 to 2001 (Beesley et al. 2004). Based on the last 50 years, there is little evidence to support the notion that tropical cyclones (connected to major rainfall events) are penetrating further south or have become more frequent. A recent event that led to widespread flooding (Gold Coast, June 2005) was found to have very high storm efficiency. Changes in observed and projected moisture availability were assessed on the basis of a high-quality dataset of surface dewpoint temperatures and climate model output.
It is assumed that PMP received by a catchment is not uniformly distributed over a catchment but rather follows a typical spatial pattern. A pilot study to revise design rainfall estimates is currently under way at the Bureau of Meteorology. The methods developed in the pilot study were used to assess whether the spatial distribution of design rainfall estimates might be changing under a changing climate.
Keywords: Probable Maximum Precipitation, climate change, moisture availability, storm efficiency
Mike Phillips and Karen Riddette
The use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models in the dams industry has increased significantly in recent years and conversely the use of physical hydraulic models has decreased. Typical design approaches for an upgrade of similar magnitude to the Hinze Dam Stage 3 project would have allowed for considerable time to develop a preliminary spillway design before hydraulic modelling was introduced, potentially requiring only one type of model. So is there a need for both types of models?
Because of the complex hydraulics associated with the spillway required for the Hinze Dam Stage 3 raise and accelerated schedule, the utilisation of CFD and 1:50 Froude Scale physical hydraulic models was necessary. Both models were constructed independent of each other. Both models complemented each others strengths and weaknesses, and each provided critical information at the following different stages of design:
• Spillway selection and conceptual design stage – the CFD model results were highly valuable in steering the selection of spillway type and configuration, particularly with visual representations of the ranges of flow for each spillway option.
• Preliminary design – in a one week period, 90 to 95% of the final spillway layout was resolved with interactive modifications of the physical hydraulic model.
• Detailed design – both the physical hydraulic model and the CFD model were utilised to determine water pressures, velocities and water surfaces and evaluate cavitation potential as input to detailed design.
In the case of the Hinze Dam Stage 3 project, it was highly advantageous to utilise a CFD and physical hydraulic model to achieve the design outcomes at each phase of the design. The dual-model study approach also provided advantages for project management of the design and stakeholder involvements.
Keywords: Computational fluid dynamics, CFD, physical hydraulic model, spillway, hydraulics
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.
The Resource Management Act 1991 provides regional councils with responsibility for the control of taking, use, damming and diversion of water for the purpose of promoting sustainable resource management. The Act enables councils to develop plans, including objectives, policies and rules, to assist it carry out its functions. Otago Regional Council has an operative plan, Regional Plan: Water for Otago, which contains various provisions relevant to controlling damming and storage of water.
In Otago, where irrigation is significant, most surface water is over-allocated. Water for irrigation is largely allocated through deemed resource consents (issued by the Wardens Court under the Mining Acts of 1898 and 1926) which now have an imposed expiry date of 1 October 2021 under the Resource Management Act. Deemed consents have priority access allocations and are largely excluded from the provisions of the regional plan. Water resources are not efficiently utilised under the current regime, with water from dry areas transported long distances to areas with abundant water, and surface water taken when ground water is a more appropriate resource.
Otago Regional Council is undertaking a plan change program to allow smooth transition from deemed consents that ensures water resources are efficiently allocated and water is used efficiently after 2021. The paper describes the results of consultation undertaken with irrigators and discusses the role of irrigation infrastructure raised at those meetings.
Efficient water resource management requires Council to develop a policy regime that promotes water resource and use efficiency as a priority and encourages community based water management for efficient on farm use. Also, irrigators need to develop new storage and distribution infrastructure managed and operated at an inter farm – community level.
Changes to the Building Act, giving regional councils responsibility for dam safety and building controls for dams, create opportunities for greater integration of dam construction and management with water resource management under the Resource Management Act. This paper explores an opportunity for major redesign of water infrastructure development and management for the future prosperity of Otago.
Keywords: Building Act, Resource Management Act, water, storage and distribution infrastructure, resource efficiency
Mike Marley, Greg Dryden, Geoff Eades, Edwin Brown, and Gary Huftile
Traveston Crossing Dam is proposed for construction at AMTD 207.6 km on the Mary River, about 25 km upstream of Gympie in South East Queensland. The Mary Valley at the dam site is located in a zone of complex geology resulting from formation in a tectonic accretionary wedge setting. This has been responsible for its complex geological structure, which has required a range of geological and geotechnical investigation and interpretation techniques to develop a model on which to base the dam’s preliminary design. This paper describes the tectonic history and the innovative techniques used in developing the geological model for the dam foundation.
The investigation involved aerial photograph interpretation, geological mapping; geotechnical drilling, including water pressure testing; seismic refraction profiling; downhole geophysical logging; excavation and geological mapping of large excavations; and hydrogeological investigation involving investigative drilling and pumping tests.
A Vulcan 3-D computerised geological model was constructed using borehole data, seismic refraction interpretation and downhole geophysics interpretation. The geological model has been used in the development of the preliminary design and confirms that the foundations are suitable for the proposed structure.
Keywords: Dam Foundation; Geophysics; Investigation Tectonics; Geological Strength Index Kinetic Analysis