Kristen Sih, Richard Rodd
Melbourne Water currently manages over 235 stormwater retarding basins. The process of assessing the risk posed by these assets began in 2006, and at the end of 2015 full risk assessments were completed for around 30 of the basins that were estimated to pose the highest societal risk. However, when analysing the results of these risk assessments, there was some concern that the results were inconsistent and often too conservative, given the few incipient or actual failures that had been experienced.
It was found that one of the key areas causing the conservatism was poor documentation of design and construction details, and the fact that the tools used for assessing the Potential Loss of Life (PLL) were aimed at larger storages that cause much higher depths and velocities in dambreak events than these (generally) small storages. To remedy this situation, advice was sought from specialist practitioners to develop guidance notes on the assessment of PLL and failure likelihoods for retarding basins.
On the back of these guidance notes, Melbourne Water initiated an accelerated program of assessing the risk associated with 78 retarding basins over a 6 month period. This paper describes the key recommendations from the guidance notes, compares the results of the risk assessments performed pre- and post-guidance notes and provides a summary of the portfolio risk assessment outcomes, what they mean for Melbourne Water and what the organisation intends to do to manage this risk into the future.
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The National Seismic Hazard Assessment 2018 (NSHA 18) project intends to revise the existing seismic hazard map (AS1170.4 2007) for Australia. Geoscience Australia (GA) are leading the project along with a consortium of seismologists, geologists and earthquake engineers.
The NSHA 18, due to be released in 2018 is of great importance to dam owners and operators. The project intends to incorporate a comprehensive approach to seismic hazard, particularly in modelling uncertainty and variability.
The Global Earthquake Model (GEM) is an international consortium of scientists, engineers and policy makers. One of the primary aims of GEM is to provide a uniform set of tools for analysis in seismic hazard and risk. GEM was established to provide a framework for global standards in comparing risk analysis, awareness and actions in an effort to increase resilience to vulnerable communities.
The NSHA 18 will use the GEM framework in order to meet its own objectives for the new upcoming hazard map. The Seismology Research Centre will contribute to the NSHA 18 in three areas. Firstly, to produce a unified earthquake catalogue where GA will homogenise magnitudes to a uniform scale. Secondly, to produce a number of applicable alternate seismotectonic models, and thirdly, through the contribution of ground motion data collected over the last forty years within Australia.
Richard R. Davidson, Michael Zoccola, Barney Davis, John W. France
Seepage barriers have become an essential element of dam safety upgrades for many aging dams. Our construction technical specifications are generally written to achieve a degree of perfection that may not be possible or practical. Many practitioners believe that grouting alone can achieve an acceptable seepage barrier through a pervious rock foundation. However, precedent from many Corps of Engineers dams has revealed that grouting can only treat those open features that the grout holes intersect. What about clay filled fractures or solution features that resist grout penetration but then erode over time? Can any grout treatment ever be considered as a permanent seepage barrier? Cutoff walls through embankment dams and their foundations are generally considered as a more permanent seepage barrier. However, do we have the means to construct a perfect seepage barrier wall, or are defects to be expected. Do these defects represent fundamental flaws that require risk mitigation? How can we verify that we have built an acceptable seepage barrier that meets the design intent?
This paper describes the unique characteristics of near-fault ground motions for use in developing ground motions for the design and evaluation of dams that are located close to identified active faults. These characteristics include near-fault rupture directivity effects, permanent ground displacements, and hanging wall effects. In Australia, active faults make a significant contribution to the Maximum Credible Earthquake (MCE) only at near-fault sites when Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA) is used. However, some sites may be close enough to nearby or even more distant identified active faults that a Deterministic Seismic Hazard Analysis (DSHA) produces MCE ground motions that are for larger than those obtained using a probabilistic approach even for very long return periods. Knowledge of the unique characteristics of near-fault ground motions should be applied to the development of ground motions for the design and evaluation of dams that are located close to identified active faults.
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.
Shane McGrath, Stuart Richardson, Mark Arnold
Melbourne Water Corporation has recently completed a complex safety upgrade of Greenvale, an extreme consequence category dam. An assessment concluded that the residual risks were As Low as Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). However, given the uncertainty associated with the calculations the estimated residual societal risk was not comfortably below the limit of tolerability. Melbourne Water has experience with preparing hazardous industry safety cases for its water treatment chemical storages and decided to trial the methodology for Greenvale Dam. This paper describes the approach taken in hazardous industries to construct safety cases and how his was adapted to demonstrate that dam safety risks are ALARP.