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
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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:
Peter Foster, Bob Wark, David Ryan, John Richardson
Fairbairn Dam is a zoned embankment dam completed in 1972 and located in central Queensland near the town of Emerald. The spillway, which is located toward the left abutment, consists of a 168 metres wide concrete ogee crest, converging concrete chute and dissipater basin. The overall length from the ogee to the downstream end of the concrete spillway is approximately 195 m. The chute and dissipater basin are underlain by a matrix of longitudinal and transverse drains for pressure relief of the anchored concrete slabs.
Minor repairs to damaged chute slabs were undertaken following the 2011 flood event. During these rectification works, large voids up to 0.3 metre in depth were found under sections of the concrete chute slabs as well as damage and blockage to the sub-surface drainage system. Discoloured water was also observed discharging from sections of the sub-surface drainage system. Some of the 24 mm diameter bars designed to anchor the slabs to the foundation were found to have corroded at the concrete/foundation interface and subsequent pull-out tests showed that the anchors had minimal or no structural capacity.
These investigations led to a review of the hydraulic design of the spillway, upgrade to the sub-surface drainage system and apron slabs, and installation of replacement anchor bars. An understanding of the transmission of pressures and dynamic pressure coefficients resulting from spillway discharge and the effects of the hydraulic jump was an essential component of the design for the new anchor and drainage system.
This paper provides detail on the investigations undertaken, the hydraulic modelling that is underway including physical hydraulic and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the design approach for what is described in this paper as the Stage 1 component of works.
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.
Dr Matthew Sentry, Nabeel Elias
Although permanent ground anchor technology has advanced in leaps and bounds over the past two decades, the focus of anchor technology has been on developing techniques to minimise the risk of component and system failure due to corrosion. The advancements in structural materials available in the market in recent years have enabled research into alternative materials for permanent ground anchor systems.
Carbon fibre has become a significant structural alternative throughout North America for bridge and building construction as well as repair and structural strengthening of deteriorated/corroded structures. These advancements and the necessity to investigate alternative materials for anchor systems have led to research in understanding the long term performance effects of using carbon fibre products as an alternative to steel tendons in permanent ground anchors.
Following on from the advanced research works at Monash University and Geotechnical Engineering which investigated the durability performance of various available CFRP strands when used as an alternative to conventional steel tendons in permanent ground anchor systems, Geotech developed the first post tensioned ground anchor system using CFRP strand.
Following laboratory based trials and small scale bun barrel tests, Geotech was able to successfully design, construct, install and stress the first 27 strand post tensioned CFRP ground anchor installed into Yass Dam. The CFRP strand was stressed and locked off at 4,000kN. Real time monitoring has been installed to monitor the load throughout the anchors service life.
This paper provides the details of the construction, installation and stressing of the first CFRP anchor installed into a dam structure.
Assoc. Prof. Shu-Qing Yang
Next to air, freshwater has been always considered as a key resource, central for economic development and human’s basic needs. Currently the total population is about 7 billion, and by 2050, global population is projected to be 9 billion. An additional 10 more Nile Rivers are needed, and the water demand is increasing steadily and significantly. The dams industry has successfully solved the water deficit problems in many places for most of the time, but more and more countries and regions are gradually resorting to other emerging technologies like desalination, wastewater recycling and rainwater tanks etc. as they believe that a dam is the 20th century technology and has too many significant negative impacts. However, available data show that the global water consumption is only 5~6% of annual runoff, e.g., Australia’s water use is about 20km3, but the runoff lost to the sea is up to 440km3. A coastal reservoir is a freshwater reservoir inside seawater, aimed at the development of freshwater from the sea without desalination. The 1st generation of coastal reservoir has emerged in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea successfully, but generally its water quality is not as good as that in inland dams. The 2nd generation of coastal reservoirs has been developed and its water quality is at least comparable with the water in existing reservoirs like Warragamba dam. The application of coastal reservoirs in Australia is discussed and the feasibility is investigated. The preliminary designs of coastal reservoirs in SE Queensland, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth show that the coastal reservoir is a feasible and effective technology for Australia’s water crisis.