2008 – Probabilistic Description of Scour Hole Downstream of Flip Bucket Spillway of Large Dams

G. Shams Ghahfarokhi, PHAJM van Gelder, JK Vrijling

Abstract: Risk and reliability analysis is presently being performed in almost all fields of engineering depending upon the specific field and its particular area. Probabilistic risk analysis (PRA), also called quantitative risk analysis (QRA) is a central feature of hydraulic engineering structural design.

Actually, probabilistic methods, which consider resistance and load parameters as random variables, are more suitable than conventional deterministic methods to determine the safety level of a hydraulic structure. In fact, hydraulic variables involved in plunge pools, such as discharge, flow depth, and velocity, are stochastic in nature, which may be represented by relevant probability distributions. Therefore, the optimal design of a plunge pool needs to be modelled by probabilistic methods.

The main topic of this paper is concerned with the reliability-based assessment of the geometry of the plunge pool downstream of a ski jump bucket. Experimental data obtained from a model of a flip bucket spillway has been used to develop a number of equations for the prediction of scour geometry downstream from a flip bucket spillway of a large dam structure. The accuracy of the developed equations was examined both through statistical and experimental procedures with satisfactory results. In addition, reliability computations have been carried out using the Monte Carlo technique.

The main conclusions are that structural reliability analysis can be used as a tool in the dam safety risk management process and that the most important factors for further analysis are erosion, friction coefficient, uplift and self-weight.

Keywords: risk analysis, reliability, plunge pool, Monte Carlo simulation, flip bucket, large dams

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