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.
Stuart Read and Laurie Richards
Many dams in New Zealand are founded on greywacke, a typically hard, closely-jointed rock mass. This paper describes the characteristics of greywacke rocks based on field mapping, laboratory testing and rock mass classification, and gives examples of design inputs for dams, in particular concrete structures. Unweathered, intact rock materials have unconfined compressive strengths generally above 100 MPa and moderate to high modulus ratios. The rock masses, which comprise sandstones and mudstones, are commonly tectonically disturbed and have an unusual combination of very high intact strength and joints with low persistence. The effect of these properties on rock mass deformability and strength is illustrated by estimation of dam foundation deformability from tiltmeter measurements and assessment of critical foundation failure mechanisms from estimates of defect and global rock mass strengths.
Keywords: foundations, dam design, rock mass strength, rock mass deformability, greywacke
David Ho, Chee Wei Tan and Glen Dominish
Upper Cordeaux Number 2 Dam is founded on an igneous intrusion rock mass which overlays sedimentary rock layers above the Wongawilli Coal seam. The coal mining company, BHP Billiton Illawarra Coal, planned to extract coal close to the dam. Although the dam is classified as a low hazard dam, its importance, both as part of the Sydney Catchment Authority’s water supply system and for its significant heritage value, mean that the proposed mining should not have undesirable impact on the structure. This paper describes how the mining impact on the dam was assessed using a nonlinear 3D finite element model. The model considered the pre-existing cracks in the dam wall, uplift water pressure along the dam/foundation interface and the hydrostatic pressure at full supply level. Mining-induced movement such as valley opening, closure and upsidence were applied to the model. Stability and strength assessments were made against a set of acceptance criteria developed for mining impact. The development of different stabilising mechanisms was examined. From the numerical investigation, WorleyParsons was able to provide technical advice to the mining company, the dam owner and the NSW Dam Safety Committee to facilitate the mining application and to satisfy dam safety requirements.
Keywords: Mining subsidence, Arch/gravity dam, Nonlinear numerical analysis, Safety 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
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
Ken Ho, Robert Davey and Jim Walker
The Aviemore Dam appurtenant structures were upgraded for seismic performance in 2006. A comprehensive dam safety review programme conducted by Meridian Energy evaluated the performance of the dam and appurtenant works under extreme ground movements and rupture displacements of the Waitangi Fault, which passes through the embankment dam foundation. The spillway and sluice gates are key elements of the dam safety critical plant for the passage of floods to prevent overtopping or emergency dewatering of the reservoir after a major seismic event if there are concerns about damage to the dam. This paper outlines the assessment undertaken for the spillway and sluice gates for seismic performance and the upgrade necessary to safeguard their integrity for operation after the event.
The spillway and sluice gates are large steel radial gates operated by electrically powered wire rope winches and hydraulic actuation, respectively. Combined hydrostatic and the Safety Evaluation Earthquake (SEE) induced hydrodynamic loads would be expected to stress the gate structures beyond their yield capacity. The yield would be downstream only due to the influence of the hydrostatic load under the earthquake response cycle. The resulting deformations were predicted to fracture connecting bolts in the spillway gate arms and cause severe leakages past the top leaf of the sluice gates. The solutions developed for the spillway gates to reduce connection bolt damage and the strengthening of the sluice gates will ensure their post-earthquake operation.
Keywords: Aviemore Dam, spillway, sluice, radial gate, seismic performance, post-earthquake operation.