David Stephens, Peter Hill, Rory Nathan
The estimation of incremental consequences of dam failure often requires consideration of coincident flows in downstream tributaries. In the past overly simplistic assumptions have often been adopted. Examples include an assumption that flows in downstream tributaries are negligible, equivalent to the 1 in 100 Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) flood, the mean annual flood or the flood of record. Experience has shown that these assumptions often underestimate coincident flows, particularly for extreme events approaching the AEP of the Probable Maximum Precipitation. Additionally, the justification for adopting these techniques is usually driven by ease of use rather than the degree to which they represent the relevant physical processes at play. For some dams, these techniques may have a negligible influence on the overall consequence assessment. However, there are many dams for which an improved understanding of coincident flows using a joint probabilistic framework can result in significantly altered estimates of the natural flood and dambreak flood inundation zone. This can frequently lead to the consequences of the natural flood being larger than would otherwise have been the case, leading to a reduction in incremental consequences. Two examples of such situations are presented, including a description of the techniques used to estimate coincident flows and a discussion on likely influence of these flow estimates on incremental consequences. These examples are then used to draw some general principles for the types of dams at which an improved understanding of coincident flows is warranted.
Keywords: dam failure, coincident, joint probability, consequence assessment
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Chi-fai Wan, Jason Hascall, Andrew Richardson, John Sukkar
Oberon Dam is the major headwork of the Fish River Water Supply Scheme providing bulk water supply to Oberon Shire and Lithgow City Councils, Sydney Catchment Authority, and Delta Electricity. The dam is owned and operated by State Water Corporation (SWC).
Located on the Fish River 2km south of Oberon in New South Wales, Oberon Dam was completed in two stages in 1946 and 1957. In 1996 the dam was upgraded to pass the 1993 Probable Maximum Flood estimate by raising the dam 1.77m and constructing a 50m wide auxiliary spillway on the left abutment. The upgraded dam comprises a 232m long, 35.3m high concrete slab and buttress section and a 165m long earth embankment section.
A typical buttress dam has its inclined upstream face made up of relatively thin reinforced concrete slabs supported by but not integral with the buttresses, making a relatively flexible dam structure vulnerable to earthquake damage.
As buttress dams evolved from concrete gravity dams, their structural design follows the same principles as applied to gravity dams. However, many buttress dams were designed over 60 years ago using outdated methods that did not consider earthquake loads. Current overseas and local design guidelines do not provide sufficient guidance for checking the seismic stability of existing buttress dams. For instance, the simplified seismic analysis, proposed by Fenves and Chopra to investigate the seismic response of gravity dams to earthquake loads in the upstream-downstream direction, is not applicable to buttress dams which are also susceptible to damage by earthquake loads in the cross-valley direction.
SWC engaged Black & Veatch to carry out a three-dimensional finite element analysis of Oberon Dam to better understand the structural behaviour of the dam under earthquakes. The analysis used both the response spectrum and time history approaches. Due to the uncommon design of Oberon Dam and the limited discussion found in the literature on the dynamic behaviour of buttress dams, the Authors would like to share their experience in the assessment of the hazard, and on the use of modern finite element modelling techniques to investigate the dynamic response of this type of dam.
Keywords: Ambursen dams, Buttress dams, Risk assessment, Time history analysis, Finite element
Karen Riddette, Chee Wei Tan, Alan Collins, David Ho
Due to a number of historical stilling basin slab failures around the world, modern basin slab stability assessment approaches now require allowance for hydrodynamic pressure fluctuations. Extreme fluctuations in uplift pressures have been found to occur in hydraulic jumps and plunge pools resulting in high-pressure pulses being transmitted via joints and drainage openings to the underside of the slab. If, peak uplift forces beneath the slab coincide with minimum pressure fluctuations on the top of the slab, the resulting pressure differential can be sufficient to lift a slab. As a result, simple static design based on tailwater depth and mean floor pressures is now considered highly non-conservative.
Through a case study on the Waipapa Dam spillway stilling basin, this paper examines the use of CFD modelling to compute mean hydrodynamic slab pressures taking into account the location of the hydraulic jump and the effect of the impact blocks on the pressure distribution over the slab. By combining the CFD results with empirically-derived pressure fluctuations, uplift scenarios are applied in a FEA model to compute the maximum load in the slab anchors and examine the sensitivity of the stilling basin slabs to uplift failure.
Keywords: Stilling basin, hydrodynamic modelling, CFD, pressure fluctuation, slab stability.
David Stephens, Kristen Sih, Peter Hill, Rory Nathan, David Dole
The spring and summer of 2010-11 were characterised by severe flooding affecting much of Victoria. In a number of cases, communities downstream of large dams developed to supply water for irrigation and critical human and stock needs were significantly impacted. Following the floods, the Victorian Government commissioned the Victorian Floods Review (VFR) to consider the total warning and response to these floods. Whilst dam operations were not specifically included in the terms of reference, overwhelming community interest lead to the VFR commissioning a high level review of the way a number of key dams were operated during the floods. This review identified some of the inherent tensions in the legislative framework for water harvesting, storage and dam safety in Victoria. These tensions were often matched by the conflicting expectations of the public living immediately downstream of the dams versus those dependent on the water resource stored in the dams. The final report of the VFR was handed down in December 2011 and contained a number of recommendations specifically for dam owners. These recommendations are reviewed and discussed in light of both the legal and public relations ramifications for owners and operators of large water supply dams. An overview is also given of the operational constraints to downstream flood mitigation facing many dam owners. Such constraints are typically imposed by the type of dam (i.e. fixed crest), relatively small storage and outlet capacities when compared to flood volumes and limitations on the reliability of forecast rainfall information. Some possible ways of overcoming these constraints are identified and discussed.
Keywords: Flood, mitigation, Victorian Floods Review
Sofia Vargas, Robert Wark
Logue Brook Dam, 130 km south east of Perth, was completed in 1963 and comprises a 49 m high main embankment with a crest length of approximately 335 m and the reservoir impounds 24.59 GL of storage. The outlet works comprise an inlet tower, an outlet pipe (DN 1100 mm) and a valve house. Water from the dam is released through a clam shell valve and there is a sluice valve upstream of the clam shell which acts as a scour isolation valve.
Previously Logue Brook Dam supplied water into the Harvey irrigation system by releasing water down the river which was then drawn off downstream and pumped into the piped network. The scheme planning had identified that constructing a pipeline from the dam outlet to connect directly into the piped irrigation system would eliminate the need for pumping as the system could then be gravity fed directly from the dam.
The outlet works upgrade comprised the refurbishment of the Inlet Tower, refurbishment of the Valve House, installation of new valves, environmental release and magnetic flow meters, electrical, communications, SCADA, instrumentation and security upgrades.
This paper describes the diving inspection and above water inspections of the inlet tower, refurbishment of the existing installation, challenges of the design, adopted solutions, connection to the Harvey Water pipeline and construction issues. The project represents an interesting case history of improving dam safety standards to current ANCOLD guidelines to provide a modern and safe facility.
Keywords: Outlet works, diving, OH &S Issues, safety, deterioration
The design of tailings dams under earthquake loading is quite challenging due to the nature of the tailings materials which are generally liquefiable under earthquake shaking. The design will be more complicated when the dam foundation is also liquefiable material. While assessment of liquefaction potentials is well developed in practice, assessment of liquefaction induced deformation varies from the simplest Newmark’s displacement method to the more complex effective stress dynamic analysis approach. It is generally accepted that the simplified method can be used for cases involving non-liquefiable materials. However, the use of this method for cases involving liquefaction may generally result in overly conservative designs to cater for the many simplified
assumptions in the method. With the advance of computer technology, time and cost are no longer obstacles for using the more appropriate method for estimating liquefaction-induced deformations of a tailings dams and achieving an optimum dam design.
This paper attempts to critically discuss issues in seismic design of tailings dams and provide an example of the use of the effective stress dynamic analysis method to estimate the liquefaction-induced deformations of a tailings dam and its importance in optimizing the design. The approach used is capable of estimating pore pressure response of liquefiable materials at any given time during the shaking. The effective stress analysis method used herein is embedded in FLAC software using a specially written FISH routine. Using this method, it can be demonstrated that although liquefaction is an issue, it does not necessarily mean that we must prevent its occurrence. As long as the deformation is acceptable, liquefaction is not necessarily a ‘show stopper’ for the project.
Keywords: liquefaction, seismic deformation, tailings dam design.