Tim McMorran and Alan Hull
Accurate assessment of potential fault rupture hazard in dam sites is a critical factor in managing dam safety. Assessment of the location and activity of a surface fault within or near an existing or proposed dam can be technically challenging, expensive and affect design and construction schedules.
Three examples from regions of relatively high, moderate and low tectonic activity are used to illustrate that fault rupture hazard assessment is generally feasible in regions with high rates of tectonic activity, historic earthquake occurrence and the presence of Quaternary and Holocene-age landforms and sediments. In regions with relatively low rates of tectonic activity and landscape development, the fault rupture hazard assessment is more challenging.
The examples illustrate that robust geologic and geomorphic analysis provides critical information on the fault rupture hazard at existing and proposed dams. These analyses assist dam owners to obtain a more complete understanding of the fault rupture hazard at their facility, and support their longer term risk assessments.
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Peter Hill and Rory Nathan
The ANCOLD Acceptable Flood Capacity (AFC) guidelines were published in 2000 and provide guidance on the selection of design flood capacities for dams and specifically a deterministic fallback provision for spillway capacities. Since the guideline was published, there has been a continual evolution in dam safety management practices and related guidelines, including the 2003 ANCOLD guidelines on risk assessment and the current revision of Australian Rainfall and Runoff by Engineers Australia. This paper describes the scope of the current AFC guidelines and perceived opportunities for refinement. A survey of users was used to test and identify issues and gauge the need for the guideline to be updated. A number of topics were identified that would benefit from clarification or further guidance. These topics include consistency with other ANCOLD guidelines, clarity on the selection of the AFC, definition of the dam crest flood, freeboard and application to gated structures.
Matthew Sentry and Darren Loidl
To triple Yass’ water storage capacity, Yass Valley Council was required to increase the height of their existing concrete weir by 3.0 m. The 100 m wide weir was originally constructed back in the 1920’s. Upgrade works to the weir included raising the height of the existing concrete weir by 3.0 m with reinforced concrete; install 33 number 27 strand post-tensioned ground anchors vertically into the crest; construct a new outlet structure; upgrade existing mechanical pipe works; and replace the existing pedestrian bridge with a concrete bridge capable of vehicle traffic.
The key project constraints during construction were to maintain constant water to the town’s water treatment plant and maintain minimum 70% reservoir storage.
The original weir had no auxiliary means of flow diversion and the construction constraints meant that the water storage could only be reduced by 1.0 m from the existing crest during construction, resulting in the construction work being carried out in an active water course with minimal means of flow diversion. These key project constraints meant that there was a high risk of flooding during construction work.
Geotechnical Engineering was engaged by Yass Valley Council to carry out the required upgrade work at Yass Dam. Prior to construction work commencing, risk workshops with client and designers clarified the flood risks during construction. To minimise the impact of flood events during construction, Geotech implemented several flood mitigation measures which were controlled by a detailed construction flood management plan. These control measures included construction of two temporary diversion slots cut into the existing concrete weir capable of supporting a 1 in 2 year rain event whilst allowing construction work to continue; re-design of concrete works to minimise the volume of concrete which was to be cut from the existing wall’s downstream face; detailed construction sequencing to minimise impact to existing and new wall during construction work; and the early installation and stressing of anchors.
Although a detailed construction flood management plan was developed and implemented, the Yass Dam site was impacted by 13 floods during the 20 month construction period. Several floods recorded water levels between 1.5 m and 1.9 m above the existing crest, resulting in work ceasing for weeks if not months at a time. As a result of the consistent flooding, Geotech was able to develop stronger and more resilient methods to be able to effectively work within an active watercourse on dam structures where minimal flow diversions are available. This paper presents the unique techniques implemented through the Yass Dam Upgrade project and discusses the effectiveness of these techniques and lessons learnt through the 13 flood events experienced.
The dam surveillance industry relies on deformation survey data to assist in understanding and monitoring dam performance. My paper presents an overview of New Zealand dam deformation surveying. The fundamentals and best practice of deformation surveying are discussed, along with accuracies achieved and developments in automated measurements in real time. The key to achieving high accuracy in the results is using precise well calibrated survey instruments, many redundant measurements, quality survey marks and rigorous computational routines.
Jeong Yeul, Lim
For various historical reasons and some technical reasons, the safety of dams has been evaluated using an engineering standards-based approach, which was developed over many years. It was used initially for the design of new dams, but increasingly has been applied over the past few decades to assess the safety of existing dams. Some countries have carried out risk assessments of existing dams that included both the structural and hydraulic safety of the dam and social risk. These methods developed by other countries could be adapted to assist in decision-making for dam safety management. Unfortunately, methods for risk assessment of dams were not established in Korea. This study outlines a beginning risk analysis for structural safety management. The first stage consisted of research on the present domestic dam safety guidelines and reviewing operations for management systems of dam safety abroad. Also, dam risk analysis requires reliable data on dam failure, past construction history and management records of existing dams. A suitable risk analysis method of dams for structural safety management in Korea is use of event tree, fault tree and conditioning indexes methods. A pilot risk assessment was carried out for two dams. The dam risk assessment process was thus established, and we learned the importance of risk assessment. The future includes additional research and risk analysis to develop the system.
Peter A. Ballantine
In view of the need for a safety upgrade for the Quipolly Dam and the plans of Liverpool Plains Shire Council for future growth in water supply, the Council took the opportunity to increase the storage capacity of the dam by raising the full supply level by 2.0 m. In 2009, the Council appointed GHD to design the upgrade in accordance with the ALARP principle.
The design of the dam included an innovative vertical crest wall, embedded into the embankment, a concrete-lined auxiliary spillway placed over the embankment adjacent to the existing spillway and the installation of Hydroplus Fusegates in the existing spillway channel.
This paper describes the design of the upgrade works.