Simon Lang, Peter Hill, Wayne Graham
The empirical method developed by Graham (1999) is the most widely used in Australia to estimate potential loss of life from dam failure. It is likely to remain that way while spatially based dynamic simulation models are not publicly available (e.g. LIFESim, HEC-FIA and LSM). When the Graham (1999) approach was first developed the prevalence of spatial data and the speed of computers was much less. In addition, most people did not have mobile phones, social media was in its infancy, and automatic emergency alert telephone systems were 10 years from being used in Australia. Graham (1999) was intended to be applied to populations at risk (PAR) lumped into a discrete number of reaches. The selection of fatality rates for the PAR in each reach was based on average flood severity and dam failure warning times. Today, there is typically much more spatially distributed data available to those doing dam failure consequence assessments. Often a property database is available that identifies the location of each individual building where PAR may be, along with estimates of flood depths and velocities at those buildings. News of severe flooding is likely to be circulated by Facebook, Twitter and e-mail, in conjunction with official warnings provided by emergency agencies through radio and television and emergency alert telephone systems.
This raises the question of how Graham (1999) is best applied in today’s digital age. This paper explores some of the issues, including the estimation of dam failure warning time, using Graham (1999) to estimate loss of life in individual buildings and the suitability of Graham (1999) for estimating loss of life for very large PAR.
Keywords: loss of life, dam safety, risk analysis.
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David Hilyard, William Ziegler, Heather Middleton
New South Wales has a significant number of dams, including major water supply dams, located over or near mines. Mining near dams imposes dam safety risks including: mine subsidence, mine blast vibration, presence of mine personnel downstream, rapid changes in consequence during mining, and loss of stored waters. The NSW Dams Safety Committee(DSC) regulates mining near dams, using risk assessment to review applications to mine near dams. A structured approach allows rational, evidence-based decision making by stepping through a procedure involving: initial consultations, screening risk assessment, evaluation of technical arguments, risk assessment, and development of risk management strategies. The risk assessment for dam walls develops acceptance criteria, reviews 19 possible risks to dam walls, and site-specific hazards. For potential for loss of stored waters, four possible groups of flow paths from storage to underground mine are reviewed; flows are evaluated with Monte Carlo simulation in terms of tolerable loss. Risks are assessed from a dam engineering viewpoint, which may be more conservative than the perception of risk in the mining industry, considering both tolerable risks and operational time frames. Case studies include: a tailings dam 100 m upstream of an active open cut and underground portal was undermined by longwall mining, with about 1.5 m subsidence of parts of the embankment as each of four longwall panels was extracted; longwall mining beneath a major Sydney water reservoir, with no observed impact on the stored waters; and open cut mining immediately downstream of a mine water dam. Risk-based methodology has provided the DSC with increased confidence in reviewing applications to mine near dams.
Keywords: Mining, dams, risk assessment, New South Wales, Dam Safety Committee
A concrete-rockfill composite dam consists of two zones: a slender concrete gravity section and a rockfill embankment section. Each zone behaves according to its stiffness and geometry during earthquake shaking. At the abrupt interface a structure behavioural discrepancy results. To mitigate such this discrepancy, a transition interface is introduced by gradually tapering the concrete section down and burying into the central part of rockfill embankment. However the behaviour of the interface is complex due to the two intermeshing of the different materials. Previously, the interface was not designed with any serious theoretical approach, but with the intuitive belief that the transition structure can play the role of mitigating behavioural difference between concrete and rockfill sections. This study seeks to characterize the dynamic behaviour of each section and to understand the performance of the interface using centrifuge model test and numerical analyses. The centrifuge model, which was reproduced by scaling down D dam in Korea, were loaded with adjusted seismic forces based upon seismic coefficient of 0.098g and 0.154g required in the dam design criteria. The legitimacy of the model test was verified by the comparison of the test results with those of numerical analyses, and the most appropriate input values for the interface elements were proposed through a systematic parametric analysis. The key findings of the paper are as follows: Numerical parameters study of the interface-element was carried out, the friction angle depends on rockfill zone material and normal and shear stiffness coefficient of the two materials (concrete and rockfill), the average values were found to be the most appropriate. The findings of this study can be used to design new composite dams, rehabilitate current dams, or design additional spillways to current rockfill dams.
Keywords: Composite dam, Centrifuge, Interface-element
This paper highlights the importance of hydraulic diversion control structures during construction of large dams and the value of allocating sufficient resources during project planning and implementation.
The design of the diversion gate for construction of the Enlarged Cotter Dam presented various challenges, including operation for up to 38m head for discharge into a 3m diameter conduit and the need to serve as an upstream concrete form during eventual diversion closure.
The short duration of operation allowed acceptance of increased level of operational risk and a higher level of design uncertainty. The design used generally accepted gate design methods, but no hydraulic modelling. The hydrodynamic forces were estimated using published data. After installation, a 1 in 100 AEP flood event resulted in the gate being subjected to 90% of its design head while operating in conditions close to the maximum design down-pull force. Attempts to raise the gate succeeded only after increasing the hydraulic pressure above the design value.
Keywords: Guard gate design, outlet works, dam, construction.
Eric Lesleighter, Peyman Andaroodi, Colleen Stratford
In January 2011 major flooding was experienced across a large part of Southern Queensland. The flood discharges through the Wivenhoe Dam spillway caused extensive erosion of the rock in the plunge pool. While not an issue in relation to the spillway structure’s security, the rock erosion experience was dramatic for a number of reasons. The paper presents details of the extent of erosion under head conditions that can be classed as moderate only when compared with many taller dams. The discharges over several days resulted in a pile of huge rock blocks downstream of the plunge pool.
The paper describes the plunge pool design dimensions, the geology, the hydrology of the releases, the hydraulics of the plunge pool, the surveys of the pool and rock mound, and moves on to discuss the mechanism of the fracturing and transport of the rock. Similar relevant experiences will be cross referenced, especially from details of recent experiences at the Kariba Dam and the study of remedies in the context of the dam’s actual safety.
From an actual major experience of erosion, and the sheer volume of rock that was lifted up and out of the plunge pool, the occurrence stands as a timely demonstration of what can happen in similar spillway situations, and suggests the type of awareness that spillway design needs to accommodate for energy dissipation facilities in unlined spillways plunge pool.
Keywords: Spillways, plunge pools, rock erosion, scour, plunging jets, pressure transients.
A.E. Bentley, P.I. Hill, S.M. Lang, M. Freund, A. Richardson
This paper describes the development of a detailed assessment approach using spatial data to estimate the consequences of dam failure across a portfolio of 18 dams in NSW. The assessment is made for potential loss of life; economic and financial losses and a qualitative assessment of environmental and social impacts. The approach is designed around the use and interrogation of spatial databases combined with outputs from hydraulic models. The assessment method is applicable to a wide range of dams in different valleys, each with different downstream characteristics. The paper provides discussion on the advantages of the approach and presents some insights into the effective application to a dam portfolio of significant size and scale.
Keywords: consequence assessment, spatial databases