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.
Barton Maher, Michel Raymond, Mike Philips
The Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority (trading as Seqwater) owns and operates North Pine Dam, situated on the North Pine River in the Northern Suburbs of Brisbane. North Pine Dam is an Extreme Hazard Dam consisting of a concrete gravity dam with earthfill embankments at both abutments and three earthfill saddle dams. The spillway consists of five radial gates which are manually operated. Flood operations at the dam are controlled in real time by the Seqwater Flood Operations Centre.
In January 2011, North Pine Dam experienced the flood of record at the dam site with a peak inflow of approximately 3,500 m3/s and a corresponding outflow of approximately 2,850 m3/s. This inflow was more than double the previously recorded flood of record. The inflow was generated by high intensity rainfall both at the dam and in the upper catchment resulting in a rapid rise of the storage. The system which caused this rainfall was also contributing to the major flooding occurring in the adjacent Wivenhoe – Somerset catchment, also being managed by the Seqwater Flood Operations Centre. The rapid rise and fall of the storage presented difficulties for both the Seqwater Flood Operations Centre and the operators at the dam site.
Following the flood event, an analysis of the rainfall and the resulting inflows indicated a significant difference between the Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) of the rainfall in the catchment and the estimated AEP of the inflow and peak water levels from previous hydrology studies. A detailed review of the flood event was commissioned by Seqwater and undertaken by URS Australia Pty Ltd.
This paper presents details of the flood event, lessons learned for the operation of the dam, upgrade works undertaken to date, results of the hydrology review and the conclusions of the Acceptable Flood Capacity (AFC) study. A key implication for dam owners was the increase in the estimate of the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) by over 30% due to changes in calibration of the hydrologic model for the catchment.
Keywords: Probable Maximum Flood, Flood Operations, North Pine Dam, Flood Estimation
Louise Thomas, Graeme Mann, Alex Gower
Mundaring Weir is a 41m high concrete gravity dam that was built in c.1900 to supply water to the Western Australian goldfields towns of Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. The dam was raised by 9.75 metres in c.1950 and impounds a reservoir of 63.5 GL. The c.1900 cast iron outlet works and c.1950 mild steel outlet works are still in operation without any significant modification or refurbishment since installation.
Mundaring Weir remains the principal storage for the Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply (G&AWS). To meet the increasing demand and improve water quality in the G&AWS, the West Australian Water Corporation is upgrading the outlet works, constructing a new pump station and a water treatment plant.
The paper discusses: condition assessments undertaken; basis for refurbishment and the selection and design, including hydraulic modelling, of a staged upgrade of aged outlet structures; and ensuring these works can be undertaken without impacting on supply during the course of the works.
Keywords: Outlet Works, Asset Condition Assessment, Mundaring Weir
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
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.
Gavan Hunter, Robin Fell, Chris Topham
Backward erosion piping is a failure mode that can affect water retaining structures with earthen cores of very low or no plasticity. Backward erosion involves the progressive detachment of soil particles as seepage through a core material exits to a free surface or unfiltered zone. In contrast to other piping failure mechanisms, backward erosion does not require a defect to be present for initiation, and is heavily influenced by the inherent characteristics of the core materials and the available hydraulic head. For dams with non-plastic or very low plasticity core materials, backward erosion can be a material contributor to the overall piping risk and warrants careful consideration during quantitative risk assessments of such dams. However, there is very little published literature for evaluating the potential for backward erosion piping, particularly in broadly graded soils. This paper concerns one such dam where backward erosion of the glacial till core needed to be assessed in the context of a detailed risk assessment for the facility. The backward erosion mechanism was tested in laboratory tests set up to model the situation in the core of the dam at a range of hydraulic heads. The paper describes the core material and objectives for the testing, presents the apparatus used, summarises the findings, and explains how they contributed to the risk assessment for the dam. Recommendations are also made for future similar testing and research needs.
Keywords: Backward erosion, piping, embankment dam, laboratory testing, quantitative risk assessment, glacial till.