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.
D Stephens and P Hill
Dambreak modelling and consequence assessment is a key component of many dam safety related studies. The outputs from these assessments can be used to inform the consequence category, dam safety emergency planning, risk-based surveillance and dam safety risk assessment. These studies are complex, intensive and expensive to complete, and all too often there is a need to manipulate or extrapolate the results of these assessments to fit a purpose other than what they were intended for. This issue is particularly prevalent for risk assessment, where the likelihood calculations are directly tied to analysis of the key failure modes, but consequences may be taken from previous studies which were not informed by failure mode selection. The result of this mismatch may lead to inefficiencies and uncertainties in preparing the risk estimates. Subtle changes to the timing or scope of the original dambreak modelling and consequence assessments, at relatively small incremental cost, may help to prevent these issues arising for future studies. Advice is provided on specific issues such as the determination of the downstream extent of the dambreak modelling, selection of the dambreak modelling scenarios and reconciliation of the consequence assessment results with flood and seismic loading partitions for risk assessment. It is hoped that the advice provided will lead to an overall increase in the efficiency and value for money of these studies.
David Laan, Kim Matsen
A slip on the upstream face of Hedges Dam was observed during an annual site inspection in late March 2016. At that stage the slip appeared to be largely contained within the right hand third of the embankment.
By early April, the slip area had developed into a head scarp across the entire central portion of the embankment. Multiple other head scarps were observed, indicating multiple or segmented slips. Several tension cracks were also visible on the face of the dam. The toe of the slips was indicated by a poorly defined bulge.
The most recent drawdown of the reservoir level was identified as a potential driver for the initiation of the slip failure. During the most recent drawdown the maximum drawdown rate was approximately 0.6 m/day whereas in the previous 17 years the maximum drawdown rate was approximately 0.2 m/day.
The remedial works proposed are to place a rockfill weighting zone on the upstream face to stabilise the embankment. The strength of the materials along the sheared surface was back calculated from the mechanics of the failure surface. This data was then used to calculate the shape of the weighting zone required to stabilise the slope.
The key differences between probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) and deterministic seismic hazard analysis (DSHA, preferably referred to as a scenario-based analysis) are that, unlike DSHA, PSHA takes account of all magnitudes on all earthquake sources that may affect the site, including the frequency of occurrence of each earthquake scenario that is considered, and fully considers the random variability (epsilon) in ground motion level. The result of a DSHA is the ground motion at the site resulting from a single earthquake scenario (or a few scenarios) having a preselected value of epsilon (usually 0 or 1), and the annual frequency of exceedance (or return period) of this ground motion level is undefined. In contrast, the hazard curve produced by PSHA yields the mean annual rates of exceedance (or return period) for each ground motion level. The complementary nature of PSHA and DSHA is manifested in the fact that practical application of PSHA, especially using ground motion time histories, results in scenario earthquakes that resemble the products of DSHA. Application of the period dependence of epsilon using the conditional mean spectrum (CMS) avoids the inaccurate and overconservative representation of the hazard by the uniform hazard spectrum (UHS) obtained in PSHA.
Robert Shelton, Jako Abrie, Matt Wansbone
The Mahinerangi dam – arguably the most valuable in Trustpower’s portfolio of 47 large dams – is over 80 years old and needs a plan of work to confirm it meets current design standards.
The dam was completed in 1931, subsequently raised in 1944-1946, and strengthened with steel tendon anchors in 1961.
A comprehensive safety review (CSR) in 2007 noted a potential deficiency in the fully grouted anchors and a program of work commenced to re-evaluate the overall stability of the dam.
A potential failure mode assessment revealed that the dam may need upgrading to meet the criteria for maximum design earthquake (MDE). Areas of uncertainty were identified and a significant programme of survey, geological mapping, concrete testing and site specific seismic assessments have been carried out to reduce risk and uncertainty in design.
The paper discusses the dam’s history, current condition, and describes the ongoing programme of work planned to extend the life of the dam for another 80+ years.