Dr. Mark Locke, Jiri Herza
Gördes Dam is a nickel and cobalt mine tailings dam situated in a seismically active zone in Manisa Province, Western Turkey. The dam is a conventional cross valley earthfill structure with a fully lined storage basin. The starter embankment with a maximum height of 50 m will be raised in downstream lifts to an ultimate height of 90 m. The total storage capacity is 19 million m3. Construction of the starter embankment is planned to commence in late 2012 and the dam will be commissioned in June 2013.
The tailings will be discharged from the dam crest and return water will be collected by a floating decant pump at the opposite site of the storage. Decant water has high calcium sulphate levels and will require treatment before re-use in the plant or release. The tailings contain about 33 % of solids and are classified as high plasticity silts and clays with more than 90 % of particles passing the 0.075 mm sieve.
The dam is founded on a complex formation of altered sedimentary and metamorphic rocks including mudstones, siltstones, limestones and serpentines. The mudstone blocks, the predominant foundation materials, are juxtaposed with siltstones and serpentines via a complex arrangement of faults. Where exposed, the mudstones are highly to completely weathered with a well-developed structure of smooth bedding surfaces leading to anisotropic strength characteristics. Several landslides, likely associated with the anisotropic character of the mudstones, were identified within the area including a significant landslide under the upstream shoulder of the dam.
Mining development in Turkey has a complex legislative environment. There is also standard practice which is not legislated but expected, this can be considerably different to normal design practice in Australia. The Turkish legislation is based on waste management guidelines and may be more appropriate to landfills than large tailings storages. The legislation is very prescriptive in some aspects and silent in others, with little consideration of risk or consequence based design.
This paper discusses the design difficulties associated with the challenging foundation conditions, which have been magnified by the requirements and limitations embedded in the approval documentation and the legislative environment in Turkey. It will also address some of the key differences between the design philosophy in Australia and in Turkey with a focus on the major risk elements of the design.
Keywords: Tailings, Turkey, Liner, HDPE, Nickel laterite
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
Graeme Mann, Michael Smith, Louise Thomas
Regular flooding around the coastal town of Busselton, south of Perth, led to the construction of large rural drains in the 1920s to divert two of the major rivers around the town. Hydrologic studies after major floods in 1997 and 1999 showed that the existing drains were providing much less than the desired 1 in 100 AEP flood protection, particularly as subdivisions were being developed along both sides of the Vasse River Diversion Drain (VDD).
Three compensating basins constructed in rural land south of Busselton provide a total storage capacity of 4.4 GL. The banks that form the three basins have a total length of 8.5 km, vary in height up to 6 m and are either zoned earthfill embankments, with a clay foundation cut-off through sandy soil horizons to a depth of 1 to 2 m below ground level or homogeneous earthfill embankments. The spillways are overflow sections on the embankments using concrete revetment mattresses. The outlet works are uncontrolled box culverts with a capacity of up to 14 m3/s. Peak outflows are typically about 30% of peak inflows to the basins.
The paper discusses the Busselton Flood Protection Project and associated diversion drains, including the design of long embankments for the compensating basins on very flat terrain that are required to survive their “first filling period” during each flood emergency.
Keywords: Earth embankments, flood mitigation, flood compensating basins, levee banks, diversion drains, Busselton, piping failures.
Mike Phillips, Kelly Maslin
A spillway upgrade conceptual design and selection process was undertaken to identify options for upgrading the Dartmouth Dam to pass the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF). A number of upgrade options were investigated, including variations of dam raise heights and spillway modifications. One of the options, the piano key weir, was initially developed from the limited available publications on the weir design, and further developed with the use of a 1:60 scale model. The piano key weir, a variation of the labyrinth weir, is a passive spillway that utilises a total weir length several times that of the effective spillway width. For the Dartmouth Dam study, the piano key weir design that was developed consisted of a 7-cycle, 9 m high structure, with a total weir length of nearly 600 m, or more than 6 times the existing effective spillway width of 91 m. The spillway was designed to pass the routed PMF outflow of approximately11,500 m3/s with a head of approximately 11 m.
The piano key weir design was developed using the following analyses:
Initial 1:60 scale physical model of the piano key weir based on published papers on piano key weirs and design manuals for labyrinth weirs;
Structural analysis and weir member sizing using initial physical model results;
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling to improve the hydraulic efficiency of the weir for the range of flows;
Revised 1:60 scale physical model of the piano key weir; and
Confirmation of conceptual structure design.
This paper describes the process of developing the piano key weir option for the Dartmouth Dam spillway and lessons learned.
Keywords: Piano key weir, CFD, spillway, physical model
Kelly Maslin, Mark Foster, Len McDonald
A key requirement of assessing the tolerability of dam safety risks is the assessment of individual risk. The ANCOLD Guidelines on Risk Assessment provides guidance on acceptable levels of individual risk and some general guidance on the calculation of individual risk.
Individual risk is a key measure in the consideration of the tolerability of risk, ALARP and development of risk mitigation works. It is essential that there is consistency in the approach to estimating individual risk used across the dams industry.
This paper reviews the approaches taken to estimating individual risk across the dams industry both locally and internationally as well as the experience of other industries.
The paper includes a review of the various methods for estimating the vulnerability of individuals subjected to flood inundation based on historical fatality rates as well as identification of the individual most at risk
The paper then describes a method that has been developed based on the principles used for assessing individual risk due to other hazards, such as landslides. The method includes consideration of a range of factors such as warning time, temporal variation and vulnerability of the individuals most at risk. The method developed provides a transparent, defensible and pragmatic approach to estimating individual risk. Practical guidance and examples are also provided on the application of the method.
Keywords: individual, risk, exposure, fatality
The Enlarged Cotter Dam project was selected as a key component in securing the future water supply for Canberra and the ACT region. The RCC gravity dam, when completed, will stand 84m high and will be the largest of its kind in Australia.
The dam was designed, and is currently being constructed, under the Alliance contract model. The collaboration this model brings between the owner and the design and construction teams facilitated a drive in innovation from the design through to the construction stages of the project. The focus of this paper is on some of the key innovative aspects of the project, for consideration on future RCC and dam projects.
Investigation was made into the placement of RCC in 400mm layers, compared to the industry adopted standard of placement in 300mm thick layers. Whilst full scale trials demonstrated that placement in 400mm thick layers was not detrimental to the quality of the RCC, the benefits in terms of increased production were never fully realised due to adverse weather and the geometry of the dam placement area. Some issues were also encountered with regards to the compaction of the GERCC on the dam faces. The results do however suggest that the method warrants consideration on future RCC projects.
The construction of the dam’s secondary spillway included a waterstop installation in a constrained RCC placement zone. By developing an arrangement that could hold the waterstop in place and induce the movement joint in the correct location, this arrangement simplified what could have been a complicated procedure in an already time consuming placement area.
The start of RCC placement was at risk of further delay on account of the extensive mass concrete pours required to level the dam foundation. A conventionally vibrated concrete mix, made from the existing site won RCC materials, was designed so that it could be produced from the RCC batch plant. This method of concrete production, combined with an efficient means of delivering the concrete to the pour area, accelerated the placement process and reduced the cost of construction.
Keywords: RCC, dam, construction.