Malcolm Barker, Toby Loxton
The Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) owns and operates Awoonga Dam, which is a concrete-faced rock fill embankment with a fixed crest concrete spillway on the left bank impounding a storage volume of 770,000 ML.
The current arrangement can accommodate the Probable Maximum Flood, allowing for flow over Saddles 3, 4 and 6 on the left abutment. A comprehensive study was carried out to evaluate the erosion potential downstream from Saddles 3 and 6 as well as other spillway options adjacent to the existing dam. One option was a radical approach including the removal of the Saddle Dam 3 and provision of downstream erosion protection works. This reduced the PAR and improved the overall dam flood capacity; however concerns were expressed about the environmental impact of possible erosion downstream from Saddle 3 for relatively frequent events.
A risk assessment showed that the erosion protection works downstream from the Saddle 3 or 6 were not cost effective and the preferred option for the upgrade was the closure of the Saddle Dam 3 with an auxiliary spillway created in Saddle 6,
This paper summarises the methods used and the outcomes from this study.
2011 – Awoonga Dam Acceptable Flood Capacity design – the anguish of erosion risk and implications for design
Richard R. Davidson, Joergen Pilzand Bruce Brown
Recent earthquakes in Chile, New Zealand and Japan have created a new focus on the safe design of tailings dams in seismic regions of the world. Building sand and rockfill embankments to sustain large ground motions and provide crucial drainage of excess pore pressures remain daunting challenges at each site. Are conventional hydraulic deposition practices still viable? What new technologies can be considered? Addressing seismic stability of existing upstream method tailings dams whether currently in operation or closed is stretching our seismic geotechnical engineering profession to its limits of understanding of behaviour. Creating a safe, secure environmental storage must also be integrated with the geotechnical and hydrologic concerns. Is there a viable risk context to consider these competing issues? This paper will raise these issues within the international context and suggest a prudent path forward.
2011 – The Challenges of Building Tailings Dams in Seismic Regions
The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake of magnitude 9.0 shook the east Japan and caused enormous damage. As of September 22, The Japanese National Police Agency has confirmed 15,805 deaths, and 4,040 people missing, as well as over 295,047 buildings completely or partially destroyed. About 8,700,000 homes lost power, and about 2,290,000 homes were shut down from water supply. The transportation lifelines such as highways and railways including Shinkansen (high speed train) were disrupted. The earthquake triggered extremely destructive tsunami waves of the height of 15 metres, in the east coast of the Pacific Ocean. Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant had accidents.
2011 – Perspectives of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami
R.J. Nathan, P.I. Hill, and P.E. Weinmann
The current definition of the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) is open to subjective interpretation, and this lack of objectivity can lead to inconsistencies in the application of risk-based and standards-based criteria. This paper summarises the different approaches used to estimate the PMF, and highlights how these reflect differences in the availability of design information and local tradition and experience. A number of approaches are available that can aid the objective definition of the PMF. These approaches attempt to define the “reasonableness” of the manner in which the various flood producing factors are combined by reference to the relative shift in the annual exceedance probability of the event. The implications of the different approaches to deriving the PMF are summarised for a number of dams from across Australia. Guidance on deriving the PMF is provided in the paper with a view to seeking feedback from industry and consideration for inclusion in relevant guidelines.
Nanda Nandakumar, Janice Green, Rory Nathan, Kristen Sih& Robert Wilson
A detailed assessment of hydrologic risk was undertaken for Hume Dam. Data available and relevant to the hydrologic risk assessment were collated and assessed. The catchment was divided into 35 different sub-catchments, each with its own set of parameters that characterised the local hydrologic response. Recorded streamflow was used to calibrate the flood response of selected gauged sub-catchments, and a combination of historic and synthetically-derived data was used to validate the model and loss parameters. The 35 models were combined into a single catchment-wide model. A Monte Carlo approach was adopted for the validation of the models and the derivation of Hume Dam inflow and outflow frequency curves. A range of PMFs which satisfy ANCOLD’s definition of the PMF were also estimated. The PMPDF outflow was estimated to be 7,600 m3/s which can be passed by the dam. Depending upon the assumptions made, the peak PMF outflow was estimated to be in the range from 10,300 m3/s to 14,900 m3/s
2011 – Assessment of Hydrologic Risk for Hume Dam
Mark Locke and Scott Kindred
The Bulk Water Alliance (BWA) consisting of ACTEW and ACTEW-AGL, GHD, and John Holland / Abigroup, are delivering the Enlarged Cotter Dam project in Canberra, ACT. The greatly enlarged reservoir will require two central core rockfill saddle dams on a ridge adjacent to the main dam site. Construction of these two dams was completed in early 2011. The challenges of the site and the Alliance delivery model have provided opportunities for innovation in both use of materials and construction.
The dam foundations were variably weathered and fractured with some highly weathered seams extending below the cutoff trench foundation. The foundation was grouted effectively using GIN grouting and the entire cutoff trench was shotcreted to reduce the risk of piping of the dispersive core material.
The steep topography provided very limited sources of material suitable for a dam core. Potential contingency plans considered included bentonite enrichment of the low plasticity materials or a change to a concrete faced rockfill dam. The high cost of these options drove the decision to use the available residual soils from small gullies by selectively winning material with a higher fines content for use below full supply level. The lack of room on the ridge for stockpiling and conditioning of clays lead to trialling of a continuous mixer for mixing and conditioning the core which was found to be highly successful.
Filter materials were crushed sands and gravels produced from nearby commercial quarries. The materials and grading were generally high quality, with some challenges producing coarser filter materials by blending available aggregate products. A range of options were effectively adopted for placement of the filters including loader placement, trench boxes and spreading from a modified ejector dump truck.
Enlarged Cotter Dam Saddle Dams – Materials and Construction