Behrooz Ghahreman Nejad
In recent years, dam designers have become increasingly interested in application of the geomembrane sealing systems (GSS) in design of tailings storage facilities around the world. The main reasons for this have been the deformation characteristics, environmental aspects (ie seepage minimisation), speed of construction and constructability of geomembrane liners in most climatic conditions. This paper reports the design and application of two types of geomembrane sealing system in Angas Zinc (AZ) and Sarcheshmeh Copper (SC) tailings dams. The former is a 25m high zoned earthfill embankment with an HDPE liner system, located in an environmentally sensitive site in South Australia. The latter is a 94m high zoned rockfill embankment with a PVC liner system, located in a region of high seismicity in central Iran.
The designs of the AZ and SC geomembrane sealing systems including geomembrane liner, drainage layer, anchoring, leak detection system and drains, and instrumentations are discussed in detail. The performance of the liner systems during operation is also presented.
Gary Gibson and Vicki-Ann Dimas
Earthquake recurrence models are based on observed seismicity, geological data and geodetic motion. They are particularly difficult to define in regions of low seismicity where the average recurrence interval between moderate to large earthquakes greatly exceeds the duration of the known earthquake catalogue.
The earthquake process may be considered as ongoing long-term deformation due to plate movement in the region about the fault, resulting in stress build-up, and a significant number of small earthquakes through the deformed region. Larger earthquakes occur at irregular intervals, with ruptures on the larger faults that release elastic strain energy from the region. Most strain energy release is during the large fault rupture.
This gives a wider range in hazard estimates compared with extrapolation methods, increasing hazard in regions of active faulting and reducing hazard where long-term geological stability can be observed. As dams are usually in regions with recent uplift, this method will tend to increase hazard estimates.
Suraj Neupane, Paul Southcott, and Tung Hoang
Conglomerate Dam has multiple cracks along the asbestos cement outlet conduits running through the embankment. The reservoir level has been maintained at 2m below the full supply level to reduce the amount of seepage, emerging on the downstream face, until the conduits are repaired and protect the embankment from slope instability and piping. Several methods were investigated under an options study to determine the most suitable internal lining method. Slip lining with polyethylene pipe was found to be the most suitable method in terms of technology as well as cost.
Damon Miller and Grant Jones
Mt Buller Alpine Resort has significant constraints on its capacity to store and supply potable water during times of peak demand, which impacts the ability to sustain and grow visitation to the resort, limiting optimal functioning and future development of the resort.
A proposed new 100 megalitre dam would primarily supply the resident and visitor populations with a reliable potable water source while also maintaining through snowmaking, the Resort’s amenity and functionality during winter for skiing and snow-play.
Standard dam engineering criteria of technical feasibility and environmental impact influenced the site selection and design of the new off-stream storage whilst additional key drivers unique to an alpine resort, framed around impact to existing skiable terrain and resort functionality, were critical to satisfy the resort stakeholders. The need to minimise the visual impact of the dam and integrate with the resort environment was also of high importance.
This paper outlines lessons learned from 8 years of regular operations and testing of 111 gates at 22 sites. It points out that the implementation challenges involved are not only technological in nature, but also encompass human factor and organizational issues. This is perhaps understandable since the initiative is part of the cultural shift to sustain gate reliability long-term.
An increase in gate testing frequency has led to the identification of more performance anomalies, ranging from deficiencies to operational failures. This finding may not be unique to a single dam owner. It leads to the following question to the general dam owner community: Are we testing our gates enough?
Peter F Foster and Peter K Silvester
Clyde Dam, the largest concrete gravity dam in New Zealand, was constructed in the 1980’s on the Clutha River in New Zealand. Lake Dunstan, which is the reservoir formed by the dam, reached its full operating level in 1993, some 21 years ago.
This paper summarises the performance of the dam over this period, the changes in operations that have been undertaken and looks to future challenges. The performance and management of the landslides around Lake Dunstan that were remediated prior to lake filling is outlined. The large floods experienced in the Clutha River in the 1990’s highlighted aspects of the flood management procedures that needed amending to capture lessons learned and some modifications to appurtenant structures have been completed. Changes to the environmental management in moving from water rights to consent conditions under the Resource Management Act are addressed.
Over the last 21 years a sediment delta has progressed down Lake Dunstan, as expected, and a long term sediment management plan has been developed for both Lake Dunstan and Lake Roxburgh which is downstream of Clyde Dam. A summary of the plan is discussed. The seismic hazard at the dam site is currently under study to update the seismic assessment parameters for the dam.