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.
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.
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
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
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.
Bruce Walpole and Craig Scott
Monitoring and surveillance is crucial to managing the ongoing performance of dam structures.
The true value of appropriate monitoring, surveillance and review processes is only realised when
potential dam safety issues arise. TrustPower’s civil safety monitoring and surveillance program
includes nineteen hydro schemes throughout New Zealand and incorporates structures with
Potential Impact Classifications (PIC) ranging from Low to High.
TrustPower promotes a continual improvement policy on its management of safety issues and
conducts inspections on a regular basis. Routine and periodic independent inspections of the key
components within a scheme are paramount to the viability of the safety management system. The
importance and purpose of these inspections has recently been highlighted by the discovery of two
sinkholes on the face of the earth dam associated with the Cobb hydro electric power scheme.
This paper provides an example of the need for continual monitoring and surveillance, vigilance
of observations, good archiving systems and documentation. It discusses the broader issues
surrounding the subsequent response processes to potential dam safety deficiencies, and the
success (or otherwise) of investigative methods. It also highlights that an adequate dam safety
compliance system has commercial value as there is a measurable reduction in dam performance
uncertainty and hence greater efficiency in the speed at which accurate resolutions can be drawn.
Keywords: Dam safety, embankment, sinkholes, foundations, dam drainage, geophysical