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.
Peter Hill, David Stephens, Kelly Maslin, Rachel Brown, Simon Lang, and Chriselyn Meneses
There has been a growing awareness of the potential dam safety risks associated with hydraulic structures in urban environments such as retarding basins, water quality detention basins and recreational lakes. This has required estimates of rare and extreme floods for urban catchments and there are a number of important characteristics of urban catchments which distinguish them from rural catchments such as impervious areas, lack of streamflow data, blockage of structures and complex hydraulics. This paper describes the key considerations for flood estimation in urban catchments and draws examples from a number of current flood studies for urban catchments in Canberra.
Steven Slarke, Dr Martin Mallen-Cooper and Marcos Guirguis
Keepit Fishway Offsets
Fish passage structures are being provided by State Water Corporation as part of a strategic program to address fish passage barriers that triggered S218 of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 at Mollee Weir, Gunidgera Weir and Weeta Weir in the Namoi River. These sites are an offset for dam safety upgrade works on Keepit and Split Rock dams in the headwaters of the Namoi River. Rather than applying high-level fish lifts at the dams, the three lowland sites represent the top three ecological priorities in the Namoi River for fish passage facilities – a case of less cost for greater ecological outcomes. The objective of the fish passage facilities at these sites is to restore upstream and downstream fish passage for about fifteen native fish species. The key biological objectives are to pass adult and juvenile fish upstream and adult fish and larvae (which drift with the current) downstream.
Mollee Weir was constructed in 1973 on the Namoi River downstream of Keepit Dam, near Narrabri in northern NSW. The nine-metre high weir is used for irrigation and comprises a reinforced concrete structure featuring three bays with undershot gates and two piers. The upstream and downstream water levels are highly variable, with a maximum differential head of about six metres. Fish are unable to pass the weir during regulated and unregulated flows; even when the undershot gates are fully raised in high flows, due to high velocities in the opened weir. The weir’s large undershot gates are also a barrier to safe downstream fish passage during regulated flows. High water pressures and velocities beneath the partially raised gates create a high mortality rate for fish and larvae moving downstream.
Fish Passage and Regulator Structure
Designed for State Water NSW by URS Australia Pty Ltd in cooperation with Dr Martin Mallen-Cooper of Fishway Consulting services, Mollee Weir features a new fish lock for upstream-migrating fish and a dedicated overshot gate with dissipating pools for downstream-migrating fish, and was constructed during 2013 to 2014.
It is the tallest fish lock in Australia that is filled from the top.
The innovative design features two separate downstream fish holding bays and two fish lock entrance gates, to provide optimal entrance conditions at varying river flows and water levels.
To provide safe downstream fish passage at low to moderate river flows, a 4 m wide ‘downstream multi-function migration gate’ has been integrated beside the fish lock structure. This overshot gate also provides an attraction flow to the fish lock entrances, and tracks the upstream water level at high river flows to provide a high discharge pool and weir fishway as a bypass around the weir structure.
The Mollee Weir fish lock provides upstream fish passage for the full range of upstream and downstream water levels.
This paper presents the methods used to apply a Flood Operation Simulation Model, and the methods used to present results of thousands of flood simulations in a way that different operational options could be compared. The approach was found to be valuable to understand the capacity of the dams to mitigate floods. The study identified shortcomings for the conventional design event approach to flood estimation. A broader range of stochastic floods was an advantage to assess flood mitigation performance and extreme floods of interest to dam safety.
A C Mostert, D J Hagen, P C Blersch
The changes in flood operations since the 2006 flood, covering weather monitoring, hydrological flood station monitoring, and downstream monitoring, are discussed in detail in the paper.
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.