Zerui Lu, Behrooz Ghahreman-Nejad, Mahdi M. Disfani
Particle characterisation like size distribution and shape can greatly affect the mechanical behaviour of granular materials, and is closely related to the economics for engineering projects. For rockfill material in embankment dam construction, the particle size distribution (PSD) is fundamental to the design, quality control and numerical modelling. Traditionally, particle size distribution for engineering materials is obtained through physical sieving. However, with rockfill material, the size varies significantly and can range from gravels (+2mm) to cobbles (+60mm) and boulders (+200mm) with the maximum size usually limited to 1m, which makes the conventional sieving process considerably difficult to conduct as well as being time-consuming. Meanwhile, the advanced technology in computer image processing has created many possibilities in characterising particles within digital photographs, and therefore can be utilised as an effective alternative to the conventional sieve analysis. This method has been in use mainly in the mining industry over the past two decades to assist with rock fragmentation and process monitoring and control. Notwithstanding, the use of this technique in the dam industry for quality control of rockfill material has been rare. Thus, an innovative approach is proposed in this paper to estimate the PSD curves for rockfill material using image analysis along with the latest developments in aerial photography. The results of PSD analysis using the image processing software Split Desktop are presented and compared with the results from sieve analyses for verification. Recommendations are made to improve the process and increase the accuracy of the outcome. It is demonstrated that the proposed method has a reasonable accuracy and is a viable option for quality control in construction of rockfill structures such as rockfill embankment dams.
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Andrew Balme, Dan Forster, Tim Logan
The MW7.8 Kaikōura earthquake on 14 November 2016, ruptured over 20 faults during the initial shaking,which lasted nearly two minutes. A complex series of fault ruptures propagated northeast for nearly 180 km from the initial rupture location. Instrumentation from dams across New Zealand shows that whilst most dams did not suffer physical damage, piezometric responses were measured in dams and their foundations. Earthquake related changes in seepage regimes are not unusual and depend on the characteristics of the ground motions,and site specific characteristics that influence how a dam and its foundation respond to ground motions. The ability to measure a piezometric response in a dam or foundation is heavily influenced by the instrumentation network and method of monitoring. Data collected during events such as the Kaikōura earthquake provides valuable information for both characterising performance of a dam during the event, and assisting future analysis such as failure mode assessments. Careful consideration must be given to the scope of installed instrumentation and the frequency of monitoring in order to provide these benefits,and the robustness of the system to ensure it adequately survives the event.
James Toose, Lelio Mejia, Jorge Fernandez
The recently completed Panama Canal Expansion project required construction of a new, 6.7-km-long channel at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, to provide navigation access from the new Post-Panamax locks to the existing Gaillard Cut section of the Canal. The new channel required construction of four new dams adjacent to the existing canal, referred to as Borinquen Dams 1E, 2E, 1W, and 2W. The dams retain Gatun Lake and the Canal waterway approximately 11 m above the level of Miraflores Lake and 27m above the Pacific Ocean.The largest of the dams, Dam 1E, is 2.4km long and up to 30 m high. The dam abuts against Fabiana Hill at the southern end, and against the original Pedro Miguel Locks at the northern end. This paper provides an overview of the key challenges in construction of Dam 1E including the foundation, seepage cut-offs and embankment.
David Guest, George Samios, Richard Rodd
Tenterfield Creek Dam is a 15m high concrete gravity structure that was constructed in 1930 and raised by 1.83m and stabilised using 97 post-tensioned ground anchors in 1974.Recent stability assessments concluded that the dam does not satisfy the ANCOLD Guidelines for Stability of Gravity Dams and that the situation is likely to deteriorate given the questionable performance of the post-tensioning cables and on the grounds of continuing corrosion and demonstrated loss of load.Tenterfield Shire Council is committed to improving the stability of the dam to meet the requirements of the NSW Dam sSafety Committee and engaged Public Works Advisory to assist them achieve this outcome.
Public Works Advisory prepared a dam upgrade options study which selected two options for further consideration. The estimated costs of the two preferred options were found to be potentially close;therefore Tenterfield Shire Council requested that both options be taken to detail design and tender stage to allow the market to indicate which option was in-fact better value.Factors other than construction costs were also considered in the options evaluation process and these factors influenced the selection outcome. The two upgrade options of lowest cost were the conventional gravity dam strengthen solutions i.e. installation of new post-tensioned ground anchors and downstream mass concrete buttressing. The decision to proceed to tender with two options was supported by the other key funding stakeholder, DPI Water.
This paper provides some unique insight on the comparison of conventional upgrade options for concrete gravity dams and also examines some interesting design aspects encounter edduring the design development process
Richard Herweynen, Jamie Campbell, Mohsen Moeini
Hydropower storage plays an expanding role in integrated power systems internationally and can enable increased use of intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.With an increased amount of renewable energy within the Australian grid, pumped storage has gained increased focus in the past 2years. Entura have been working with Genex Power Ltd. to investigate, evaluate, optimise and design the Kidston Pumped Storage Project, located at the old Kidston gold mine in Northern Queensland. Through this design process, the final arrangement developed included an upper reservoir turkey’s nest dam to be built on the existing waste rock dump on the northern side of the Eldridge Pit, using the existing waste rock dump material and lining it with an HDPE liner. The original waste rock dump was formed during the mining operation by progressively dumping the waste rock predominantly from the Eldridge Pit excavation, with the haul truck traffic being the only compaction that occurred. Since the closure of the mine about 20 years ago, some consolidation of the waste rock dump has occurred.As a result, the key risks identified for the construction of the turkey’s nest dam on top of the waste rock dump were: (1) the stability of the slopes of the waste rock dump, which were generally at the angle of repose for the rockfill material; (2) the absolute settlement of the waste rock dump as the final dam crest level requires a settlement allowance in excess of the flood freeboard requirements; and (3) the differential settlement as excess differential settlement could cause fatigue stress cracking within the liner.This paper presents the investigation and modelling undertaken to confirm the feasibility of constructing this turkey’s nest dam on top of the existing rock waste dump, utilising the historical data on dumped rockfill dams. The paper also presents the feasibility design developed for the upper storage.
Tom Ridgway, Chris Topham, Aaron Brimfield
A significant number of dams across Australia are of earthen construction and may be susceptible to internal erosion of their earth core, also known as piping. In January of 2016, during an annual inspection of the Tarraleah No 1 Pond Levee it was found that the embankment was experiencing significant seepage at the toe. Further investigations found actively developing piping holes through the embankment. To better understand the condition of the dam, HydroTasmania’s remote monitoring trailer was deployed to provide telemetered seepage data to further understand the developing issue. It was found that the leakage was increasing dramatically, and carrying suspended core material, resulting in the need for prompt resolution to protect the embankment from further loss of material. A sheet piling wall was installed in the centre of the embankment to cut off the flow of water through the embankment. After the installation of the sheet piling wall, post works monitoring showed the seepage through the embankment reduced to virtually zero, only peaking in rainfall events. This paper outlines the investigation and management of the incident, and the mitigation measures put in place from the time of identification including the use of a sheet piling wall to mitigate a developing piping failure. The paper will conclude with the outcomes of the work and how a similar solution could be utilised for other dam owners in a piping event.