David Scriven, Lawrence Fahey
Paradise Dam is located approximately 20 km north-west of Biggenden and 80 km south-west of Bundaberg on the Burnett River in Queensland. The dam was designed and constructed under an alliance agreement with construction completed in mid 2005. It is a concrete gravity structure up to 52 m high, the primary construction material being roller compacted concrete (RCC).
In January 2013 the flood of record was experienced at the dam with a depth of overflow on the primary spillway reaching 8.65 m following heavy rainfall in the catchment from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald. The peak outflow was approximately 17,000 m3/s. This equated to a 1 in 170 AEP flood event. When the flood receded it was discovered that the dam and surrounds had suffered severe damage in a number of locations including: extensive rock scour downstream of the primary dissipator and the left abutment, damage to portions of the primary dissipator apron, and the loss of most of the primary dissipator end sill.
SunWater initiated a staged remediation program to manage the dam safety risks and by November 2013 had completed the initial Phase 1 Emergency and Phase 2 Interim repairs. Phase 3 of the program was to implement a comprehensive Dam Safety Review (DSR) and a Comprehensive Risk Assessment (CRA). The DSR became arguably the largest ever undertaken by SunWater and included: extensive geotechnical investigations, large scale physical modelling, numerical scour analysis, stability analysis, and an extensive design assessment. This paper describes some of the key aspects of the DSR undertaken related to the flood damage.
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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.
J.H.Green, C.Beesley, C.The, S.Podgerand, A.Frost
The ability to estimate design rainfalls for probabilities rarer than 100 years or 1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) is an essential part of dam hydrology. The earliest means of estimating rare events consisted of a pragmatic curve fitting procedure between the 50 and 100 year design rainfalls and the Probable Maximum Precipitation. In the 1990s a more rigorous method of estimating design rainfalls as rare as 2000 years was developed – the Cooperative Research Centre – FOcussed Rainfall Growth Estimation (CRC-FORGE) method. CRC-FORGE estimates were derived for Victoria in 1997 followed progressively by each of the other states. Over the subsequent two decades CRC-FORGE estimates were an integral part of the risk assessment of large dams – being used to determine the AEP of the Dam Crest Flood.
The Bureau of Meteorology will soon release new rare design rainfall estimates for probabilities to 2000 years. The new rare design rainfalls are a significant improvement on the CRC-FORGE estimates as they have been derived using up to date data; contemporary analytical techniques and a method that is consistent across Australia.
However, there are differences between the CRC-FORGE estimates and the new rare design rainfalls. These differences do not constitute a systematic change to the CRC-FORGE estimates but rather vary with location; duration and probability. The results of a detailed comparison between the CRC-FORGE estimates and the new rare design rainfalls are presented together will an assessment of the possible impacts on previous estimates of the AEP of the Dam Crest Flood.
Mark Arnold, Gavan Hunter and Mark Foster
Following the dam safety risk assessment for Greenvale Dam in 2008, Melbourne Water implemented a 3.0 m reservoir level restriction on the operation of the storage as an interim risk reduction measure. The 3.0 m restriction coincided with the ‘as constructed’ top of the chimney filter in the main embankment. This interim action reduced the dam safety risk to below the ANCOLD limit of tolerability.
Dam safety upgrade works were undertaken in 2014/15 to bring the dam in-line with current risk based guidelines and to enable the removal of the interim reservoir restriction, bringing the storage back to full operating capacity. Greenvale Dam was required to remain operational throughout the works and this required careful consideration of the dam safety risk during construction.
Deep excavations were required within the crest and downstream shoulder of the embankments, that,, without adequate management, had the potential to increase risk to the downstream population. Excavations up to 18 m depth were required into the wing embankments for construction of full height filters from foundation to crest, excavations up to 7 m deep were required in the main embankment to expose and connect into the existing filters and secant filter piles up to 13 m deep were used to connect the new chimney filter of the wing embankments with the original chimney filter of the main embankment.
A key element of the design and construction of the upgrade works was managing dam safety during construction. Dam safety considerations included (i) design based decisions to manage the level of exposure; (ii) implementation of further restrictions on reservoir level by the owner Melbourne Water; (iii) construction methods to manage exposure; (iv) an elevated surveillance regime during the works and (v) emergency preparation measures including emergency stockpiles and 24 hour emergency standby crew. The construction based dam safety requirements were focused on early detection and early intervention, and were managed via the project specific Dam Safety Management Plan.
This paper focuses on dam safety management including the decisions made, actions taken and construction requirements and touches on how these relate to the key project features.
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
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.