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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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
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
Russell Paton and David Murray
The South-East Queensland Regional Water Supply Strategy is securing future water supplies, which includes a regional water grid and new water storages. The Queensland Government’s contribution to future water supplies includes Traveston Crossing Dam on the Mary River, Wyaralong Dam on the Teviot Brook, and Bromelton Offstream Storage and Cedar Grove Weir on the Logan River.
Queensland Water Infrastructure (QWI) was established by the Queensland Government in June 2006 to progress feasibility studies, design and construction of this new water infrastructure. QWI commissioned SunWater to investigate much of this infrastructure to preliminary design level for the impact assessment process and as supporting information for potential alliance partners for the delivery of the projects. The work undertaken included extensive geotechnical investigations, hydraulic modelling, hydrologic modelling and design activities. This paper outlines the investigations associated with the preliminary design of this infrastructure and process of risk and opportunity identification to establish the program and budgets for these projects.
Stage 1 of Traveston Crossing Dam is to be constructed by the end of 2011, with a storage capacity of 153,000 ML providing a yield of 70,000 ML each year. The design adopted for the dam consists of a roller compacted concrete structure across the valley floor with an earth embankment section on the left abutment. In order to limit inundation upstream and mitigate flooding in Gympie, a gated spillway on the right abutment has been adopted. The Traveston Crossing Dam has an estimated project cost of $1,700 million.
The design developed for the Wyaralong damsite provides a reservoir with storage capacity of 103,000 ML and a yield of 21,000 ML each year when operated in conjunction with Cedar Grove Weir. Preliminary designs have been prepared for three types of dam, which are all considered technically feasible for the site. They are a roller compacted concrete dam, an earth and rockfill dam and a concrete faced rockfill dam. The Wyaralong Dam has an estimated project cost of $500 million.
The Bromelton Offstream Storage, of earthfill construction, provides a storage capacity of 8,000 ML and Cedar Grove Weir, a sheet pile structure, provides a storage capacity of 1,000 ML and both are to be constructed by the end of 2007.
Keywords: Planning, Traveston Crossing Dam, Wyaralong Dam, Bromelton Offstream Storage, Cedar Grove Weir, Queensland, risk.
Marius Jonker, Francisco Lopez and John Bosler
This paper describes the safety evaluation and development of remediation options for Clover Dam, a 28 m high slab and buttress structure situated in the alpine region in northeast Victoria, Australia. The review was particularly challenging considering the complexity, age and cracked condition of the dam structure, which required the development of an analysis method for this type of dam.
Completed in 1953, Clover Dam is one of five dams in the Kiewa hydroelectric scheme. The 76 m long dam comprises a 45.7 m long covered slab and buttress section, supported on each abutment by concrete gravity sections. The review was undertaken as a result of severe cracking occurring since the early 1970s and because a detailed design review had not been undertaken since its construction.
Current guidelines for the safety review of existing dams provide little detailed information on slab and buttress dams. Consequently, a methodology was developed to analyse Clover Dam. This methodology could also be applied in the review of this type of dam in general, and is currently being used for safety assessments of three other slab and buttress dams.
This paper focuses mainly on the dam structural assessments undertaken during the safety review. The structural analyses involved 3-D finite element analyses for thermal, static and earthquake loading.
The outcome of the review was that both the gravity and buttress portions of the dam do not meet current design standards. The development of practicable remediation options was complicated by the operational constraints and the restricted access to those areas within the dam where remedial works were required.
Keywords: Slab and buttress dam, 3D finite element analysis, seismic assessment.
Paul Hurst, Tom Ewing, Steven Fox and Bob Wark
For an ogee-shaped spillway crest, it is well recognised that sub-atmospheric pressures will develop on the lower-nappe profile for operating heads greater than design head. This effect is useful in providing an increase in efficiency of the spillway discharge for small increases in operating head. However, there is limited data on the formation of sub-atmospheric crest pressures for high-head operation above 1.3 times greater than the design head
This paper reports on modelling work done by GHD and the Water Corporation for the Wellington Dam Remedial Works Project in Western Australia where the current design flood has increased to more than twice the original design head. Two-dimensional physical scale modelling and 3-D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling of the existing Wellington Dam spillway profile was carried out to determine the discharge coefficient and uplift force generated by the formation of sub-atmospheric crest pressures under high-head operation.
The paper compares the results of the physical scale model and the CFD model and earlier published data by Cassidy (1970) and concludes that there exists a good correlation between the three data sets.
Keywords: Ogee, sub-atmospheric, crest pressures, Wellington Dam