Monique de Moel, A/Professor Jayantha Kodikara, Dr Gamini Adikari
All embankment dams have some seepage as the impounded water seeks paths of least resistance through the dam and its foundation. Seepage must, however, be controlled to prevent internal erosion of the embankment or foundation and avoid damage to surrounding structures. Embankment dams are designed to operate under controlled steady state seepage, which over time may change due to movement in the foundation and the dam, chemical actions and other forms of deterioration. Effective monitoring of seepage within embankment dams is therefore essential in regards to management of dam safety and prevention of failure.
Traditional methods of seepage monitoring have involved measurement or visual monitoring on the downstream side of the dam after the seepage has occurred. Effective, early detection of seepage in embankment dams has been difficult as it originates and develops in the subsurface. Infrared Thermal Imaging is such a technique that is non-contact, non-intrusive, simple and flexible. The analysis draws on the temperature behaviour and the heat capacity of materials within the body of the dam and consequently allows the user to identify and isolate temperature variations along the surface of interest. This paper describes the method, application and feasibility of infrared thermal imaging for the detection of seepage in earth and rockfill embankment dams. The value of this technique as an additional tool in the surveillance of dams is discussed.
Infrared thermal imaging has been in use in other fields of engineering for condition monitoring and defect detection of structures. It has shown great potential in identifying variations in surface characteristics, which may not be evident through visual inspection alone. In this paper, reliability of this technique for seepage detection in embankment dams has been analysed using 8 case studies in order to arrive at a fair understanding of the best conditions under which Infrared Thermal Imaging field inspections should be carried out. The results of field investigations undertaken at these dams suggest that Infrared Thermal Imaging is a useful and effective tool for detection of seepage and an aid in identifying seepage behaviour.
Keywords: Seepage Detection, Infrared Thermal Imaging, Dam Surveillance, Monitoring
— OR —
Ben Greentree, David Bamforth, Matthew O’Rourke and James Willey
A series of relatively small floods occurring between end of construction in 1978 and late 1980s caused extensive and dramatic rock erosion to the very steep unlined section of the Googong Dam spillway. Following a review of hydraulic performance at larger floods, the spillway’s future erosion potential was evaluated and it became clear that extensive remedial work was required. A detailed design was developed comprising the retro-fitting of a full concrete-lined chute, the raising and extension of the spillway chute walls, strengthening of the upstream training walls and excavation of a large plunge pool. The Googong Dam has an ANCOLD hazard rating of ‘extreme’ because of its location upstream of Queanbeyan and Canberra.
In early 2008, the Bulk Water Alliance (BWA), comprising ACTEW Corporation Ltd, (in cooperation with ActewAGL) (the Owner), GHD Pty Ltd (the Designer) and Abigroup Contractors Pty Ltd in joint venture with John Holland Pty Ltd (the Constructors) was formed to deliver a package of water security projects for the ACT, one of which is the Googong Dam Spillway Upgrade.
After preparation of a construction methodology and target outturn cost (TOC), the project was approved by the Actew Board and construction commenced in February 2009. Completion is due in late 2010. A number of significant geotechnical, structural and logistical challenges were encountered during construction, resulting in major changes to the construction methodology necessitating design changes. The changes were incorporated within the original TOC, without instigating scope change contractual claims and while still maintaining spillway functionality in line with Owner operational requirements.
This paper presents delivery phase challenges that necessitated construction methodology and design changes to achieve best for project outcomes; how these challenges were overcome through genuine innovation reliant on a collaborative effort by all the Alliance partners; and how the contractual framework of the Alliance was essential for the change management process to be successful.
Gavan Hunter and James Toose
Hinze Dam, located on the Gold Coast in Queensland, is an Extreme hazard storage under the authority of Seqwater (Southeast Queensland). The Stage 3 works, which are coming to completion, require raising the existing 65 m high central core earth and rockfill embankment almost 15 m to a maximum height of 80 m. The reservoir has been near full supply level for the construction period.
Numerical modelling and empirical predictive methods were used to estimate the deformation at three key embankment sections during construction; the right abutment of the main embankment, the maximum section and the main to saddle embankment connection. The results of the analysis were incorporated into the dam safety management plan to provide a framework for evaluation of the monitored deformation during construction.
This paper summarises the numerical modelling and outlines the framework of the dam safety management plan. It then compares the actual deformation measured during construction against the predictions. Overall, the modelled deformation has compared very well in terms of trend and reasonably well in terms of magnitude with the actual deformation to date. On one occasion the deformation has exceeded the estimates and triggered a response to elevate the review to higher levels within the Alliance. Concluding comments are provided on the useful aspects and limitations of the numerical modelling at Hinze Dam.
Peter A Ballantine, Christopher V Seddon
Massingir Dam, constructed in the late 1970’s on the Olifants River in Mozambique, is a 48 m high zoned earthfill dam. Due to various safety concerns, the dam was operated at a reduced full supply level of 110 masl, compared to the design full supply level of 125 masl. Between 2004 and 2006 remedial works were undertaken, including the construction of a berm on the downstream face of the dam, grouting and drainage of the foundations and installation of the spillway crest gates. From December 2005 the storage level of the dam was allowed to increase.
On 22 May 2008, with the reservoir storage level at 122.43 masl and the gates on the outlet conduits closed, the reinforced concrete conduits failed at the downstream end, releasing an estimated 1,000 m3 /s of water into the Olifants River.
A 2-D finite element analysis was undertaken in order to establish the safe load bearing capacity of the as-constructed conduits. On the basis of the analysis, it was concluded that the original design did not take proper account of the pressure that would develop within the thick concrete sections of the conduit. In view of assumptions regarding the load paths, the reinforcement was not placed in the most appropriate positions.
This paper describes the events leading up to the failure of the conduit, presents the findings of the investigation into the failure and makes recommendations on the basis of the findings.
Richard Herweynen, Colleen Stratford
Assessing the potential for erosion of foundation rock downstream of a spillway is a problem faced on many dams, whether new or existing. The problem is made particularly difficult not only due to the uncertainty in determining the erosion potential of the rock, but also due to the variable hydrologic characteristics of flood events.
The selected spillway option for Wyaralong Dam comprises a centrally located primary spillway with a secondary spillway located on the left abutment. A stilling basin energy dissipater is provided at the toe of the primary spillway. Downstream of the secondary spillway, an apron channel will direct flows back to the stilling basin. However, for flood events larger than the 1 in 2000 AEP event, the capacity of the secondary spillway apron is exceeded and flows spill out across the left abutment of the dam towards the river channel. Erosion of this left abutment was viewed to be a potential dam safety issue, and as such, careful consideration was required during the design stage to determine the acceptability of this spillway arrangement.
In order to provide structure to a problem which often relies solely on engineering judgment, a decision process was developed, taking into consideration some of the more definable aspects of the problem. These aspects included the geological characteristics, the initial hydraulic characteristics, the flood duration, the nature of erosion should it occur and the stability of the dam. This paper describes the decision process and methodology used at Wyaralong Dam to
determine the acceptability of erosion. This paper will present the process in a way that it can be used by others in future dam projects, both new and upgrades.
A Unique and Holistic Approach to the Erodibility Assessment of Dam Foundations
Dr Adam Butler, Robert Rigg, Glen Hobbs
The cost of maintenance is a serious problem. Preventive Maintenance is a good strategy if implemented well, but can led to unnecessary costs if items are replaced unnecessarily. Predictive maintenance can augment preventative maintenance by using real time instrumentation to monitor conditions. These techniques have been effective at recognizing the symptoms of impending machine failure
Glen Hobbs and Associates (GH&A) recently analysed pressure and displacement data from hydraulically actuated hoisting equipment of a large emergency closure fixed wheel gate. Data analysis enabled GH&A to pin-point causes of the gate malfunction. Anomalies in the data waveform corresponded to impacts and squeeze points in the system. Furthermore, comparing recent test data with older data highlighted gate deterioration over time.
Testing, analysis and trending of data enables asset managers to better predict the point at which maintenance really needs to be performed and shows that careful analysis of relevant data can help solve multi-faceted problems.
Keywords: Operations, Maintenance, Asset Management, Gates.