Peter Buchanan, Malcolm Barker, Paul Maisano, Marius Jonker
Kangaroo Creek Dam located on the Torrens River, approximately 22 km north east of Adelaide, is currently undergoing a major upgrade to address a number of deficiencies, including increasing flood capacity and reducing its vulnerability to major seismic loading.
Originally constructed in the 1960s and raised in 1983, recent reviews have indicated that the dam does not meet modern standards for an extreme consequence category dam.
The original dam was generally constructed from the rock won from the spillway excavation. This rock was quite variable in quality and strength and contained significant portions of low strength schist, which broke down when compacted by the rollers. The nature of this material in places is very fine with characteristics more akin to soil than rock. Review of this material suggests that large seepage flows (say following a major seismic event and rupture of the upstream face slab) could lead to extensive migration of the finer material and possible failure of the embankment. However, it is also envisaged that the zones of coarser material could behave as a rockfill and therefore transmit large seepage flows, which may result in unravelling of the downstream face leading to instability.
This paper addresses the design of the embankment raising and stabilising providing suitable protection against both these possible failure scenarios, which tend to lead to competing solutions. The final solution required the embankment to be considered both as a CFRD and a zoned earth and rockfill embankment.
Amanda Ament, Thomas Ewing, Frank Nitzsche
The automatic operating buoyancy type spillway gates at Lenthall Dam did not operate properly since installation. This paper discusses the problems encountered, the investigation conducted using computational fluid dynamics to quantify the problems and develop solutions. It describes the design of the modifications to the gate and flow regime and results after construction.
The SRC operated seismic network is one of the largest privately owned and operated seismic networks in the world. Importantly it bridges the situation awareness gap between the information often provided by national seismic networks, of earthquake magnitude and location, and the emergency response managers questions of “What effects will this event have on my assets?” together with “What should we now be doing to mitigate the event?”
Software development of the Quick Quake app and improved automation of PDF report generation means that detailed, bespoke client specific earthquake response reports that incorporate asset earthquake resistance and failure consequence aspects can be produced by duty seismologists within reduced timeframes.
Preliminary earthquake locations computed by the SRC operated network for the two ML 4.7 Korumburra events in March 2009 and the ML 5.6 Moe earthquake of June 2012 were significantly closer to the final computed locations than those published by any other authority. The network additionally provides bonus outcomes of highly accurate detailed seismic activity maps that reduce uncertainties for Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessments (PSHAs) and attenuation data that will be used to develop regional specific ground motion models.
K.A. Crawford-Flett, J.J.M. Haskell
Dam inventories can provide a comprehensive understanding of a region’s dam population; from dam quantity, type, age, height, and purpose; to ownership profiling and broad-based regional risk assessment using GIS applications. Historically, New Zealand has lacked a comprehensive inventory of dam assets, instead relying on local and industry knowledge to characterise the dam infrastructure and its key properties, issues, and risks.
This paper presents a cross-sectional characterisation of dams in New Zealand, based on the recent compilation and analysis of a New Zealand Inventory of Dams (NZID). The NZID is the first inventory of its kind for NZ dams, comprising almost 1200 unique structures over 3 m in height. Inventory data was sourced from existing publications, NZSOLD, and regional authorities. The analysis of anonymised inventory data provides an understanding of the number and distribution of assets, along with characteristic physical properties (construction material, height, age, purpose).
Statistical comparisons are drawn in relation to published international dam inventories. Similarities and differences in the international dam populations are noted, particularly with regard to construction era and type. The NZ portfolio is unique in that dams are typically shorter in height, and a significant proportion of structures serve the hydroelectric and energy sectors.
Analysis of the new NZID confirms the need for research that is focused on the long-term performance of aging earth dams, particularly those exceeding 40 years of age. In addition to informing research needs and foci, the new NZID provides statistics on the dam population with far-reaching industry and management applications
Ryan Singh, Bob Wark
For existing dams built before modern theories and understanding of soil mechanics were fully developed, it was often the case that comprehensive investigations into the properties of the embankment and foundation material were not carried out. With more stringent dam safety requirements and engineering criteria, and a better understanding of soil mechanics, it is necessary to undertake embankment and foundation investigations on such dams, with the view to gain a better understanding of the embankment and foundation conditions.
This paper details the method used for a risk-based assessment of a dam’s stability against slope failure for steady-state seepage conditions, based on a probabilistic assessment of differing interpretations of the material properties for the foundation. To achieve this, several separate interpretations of material strength models were developed for a foundation, using various subsets of available tri-axial data. The mean strengths of these models were used to assess the stability, and to account for the variation in strength properties of each model, the sampling distribution of the mean was used to assess the likelihood of failure.
Finally, an event-tree type risk analysis was used to calculate a value for the probability of slope failure.
A case study has been presented using this method.
Matthew Ind, Kate Brand and Mark Ferrier
The framework for undertaking a dam breach analysis for water dams is reasonably well established with a depth of information and software available to guide practitioners on a consistent approach to undertaking failure impact assessments. In contrast, dam breach modelling for tailings dams is currently a developing field with a wide range of modelling approaches taken and an inconsistency in the quality of the failure impact assessments undertaken. Recent tailings dam failures at the Mt Polley Mine in British Columbia, Canada and the Fundäo and Santarém dams at the Samarco iron ore operation in Minas Gerais, Brazil have provided a sobering reminder of the hazards presented by tailings dams and the clean-up challenges that are significantly more complex than a similar failure of a water dam.
Current guidelines and approaches to dam breach modelling are often done assuming the run-out material from the breach is just water without due consideration of the impact from tailings loss. There is limited analysis undertaken on credible failure modes of tailings dams with an assumption that the embankment just “breaks” at some random point without appreciation of the failure mechanism. The misunderstanding of failure modes leads onto inconsistencies with application on whether a ‘sunny-day’ or extreme flood event modelling should be applied, with one or the other selected without explanation.
This paper outlines a framework that can be applied when undertaking a dam breach study for tailings dams to enable a consistent and credible assessment of potential failure impacts. The following tasks are discussed in detail in support of this framework: