There are a number of software packages that have been developed to conduct Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessments (PSHA’s). Each one has advantages and disadvantages. Two such programs are compared; the licenced subscription-based EZ-FRISK software package developed by Fugro USA Land, Inc. and the open-sourced OpenQuake-engine (OQ) software package by the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation. Both of these packages use the classical PSHA methodology as described by Cornell (1968) and modified by McGuire (1976). Each of these packages offers different advantages; OQ is freely distributed, code based and provides easy access to a number of tools. EZ-FRISK doesn’t rely on command-line tools and instead provides an easy user interface with quick access to plots to check results. EZ-FRISK is computationally faster than the OQ program.
A simple rectangular source model with four sites was used to investigate the degree of agreement between these two software packages. Results indicate that hazard estimates from the two packages agree to within 4% for the two closest sites. At long return periods for the two furthest sites, the difference is larger.
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Many mapped faults in the south-eastern highlands of New South Wales and Victoria are associated with apparently youthful topography, suggesting that faulting may have played a role in shaping the modern landscape. This has been demonstrated to be the case for the Lake George Fault, and may reasonably be inferred for the poorly characterised Murrumbidgee, Khancoban, Tantangara, Berridale Wrench and Tawonga faults. More than a dozen nearby major faults with similarly youthful topography are uncharacterised. In general, fault locations and extents are inconsistent across different scales of geologic mapping, and rupture lengths, slip rates and other fault behaviours remain largely unquantified. A more comprehensive understanding of these faults is required to support safety assessments for communities and large infrastructure in the region.
Two tailings storage cells were raised by constructing new embankments upstream of the existing
embankment walls. The performance of the new embankments was mainly dictated by the underlying tailings that consisted of a thick layer of very soft to soft fine tailings. The fine tailings in one cell was capped by a layer of sand for more than 30 years hence the tailings had mostly consolidated under the load of the capping. The fine tailings in the other cell was under consolidated because the cell had only been capped for about 18 months before the construction of the new embankment. The capping material was sand extracted from the tailings.
Stratification of the tailings was determined by CPT. Undisturbed samples of fine tailings were obtained by a piston sampler for CIU and oedometer testing to obtain parameters required for advanced soil models SHANSEP and Soft Soil (SS) models. These models were incorporated in full 2-D FE models to analyse the stability and settlement of the new embankments at various locations.
The application of advanced soil models such as SHANSEP and Soft Soil by hand calculation and
conventional slope stability analysis is considered cumbersome and labour intensive. This paper
demonstrates that with the help of FE software (PLAXIS in this case), it is practical to implement such advanced soil models to simulate the behaviours of soft fine tailings with reasonable accuracy. A similar approach could be used to model other fine tailings and soft clays. One should be reminded that the reliability of any analysis method relies on validation of the analysis model and parameters adopted.
Multiple-arch dam technology enjoyed a certain popularity between the fifties and seventies, but was later discontinued for practical reasons. The multiple-arch dam that is the subject of this paper is especially peculiar since it was built using prefabricated elements and a combination of several pre-stressed steel systems.
This dam consists of 17 buttressed arches with a maximum height of 35 m on a limestone and dolostone foundation. It has a crest length of 531 m and a 15 hm3 reservoir. After 55 years in operation, several apparent degradations have surfaced and a study on the safety of the dam is currently being carried out.
The main concern is the dam’s structural safety, which is apparently linked to the integrity of the post-stressed steel elements and the precast elements in the arches. This paper describes the approach chosen for the remediation study, the visual inspection, and the tests developed on the post-stressed steel and concrete, in order to feed a 3D numerical model of the structure.
There are many dams in Australia with appurtenant features such as spillway gates, large capacity outlet works, power stations and transfer tunnels. These features can play a significant role in how these dams are operated during flood events and allow for additional flexibility to implement flood mitigation activities such as pre-releases and surcharge depending on authorised operating procedures for the dam.
Typical practice in many dam flood hydrology studies has been to significantly simplify or even ignore the impacts of these features on the dam water level frequency curve. For example, it may have been assumed that spillway gates were either fully open or changed from fully closed to fully open in a uniform manner regardless of inflow rate. Whilst this approach significantly simplifies routing of floods through these storages, it may produce results which are inconsistent with the expected flood probability of the dam given its current operating procedures, especially for relatively frequent flood events. This is particularly critical for risk assessment where definition of the flood loading probabilities requires robust estimates of water level AEPs for all events.
In a number of recent studies, greater emphasis has been placed on detailed modelling of the effects of spillway gates and other outlet works on dam flood hydrology. This has required site-specific algorithms to be developed which incorporate the characteristics of the spillway gates or other features at each structure, as well as the flood operations procedures for the dam. This paper presents a number of case studies where explicit simulation of dam flood operations has had a significant impact on the resulting flood frequency curve and downstream flow rates and discusses the implications of that on dambreak modelling and risk assessment for those dams.
Since publication in 2003, the ANCOLD Guidelines for Risk Assessment have reached broad acceptance and use in Australia. In practice, dam owners use the principles of risk assessment to drive business investment decisions. As the guidelines undergo revision, it is timely to assess whether our practices need to evolve to more holistically consider all types of consequences, rather than our current focus on loss of life, in decision-making. This paper aims to prompt dam owners and consultants alike to re-assess our focus on loss of life in risk assessment decision-making, and whether we should more meaningfully consider alternative or broader indicators.
An industry survey was undertaken which found that large dam owners are generally happy with the current system of dam safety decision making. However, the survey responses did identify difficulties in relation to justifying investment below the limit of tolerability that are subject to ALARP principles. In a small number of cases, dam owners found it difficult to justify investment when life safety was not important.
Building on the industry survey and subsequent discussions with practitioners, this paper discusses how the current approach to risk based decision making may result in sub optimal decision making. Further it is discussed how there is an important role that economics should play in providing a universally accepted framework for assessing trade-offs and providing consistent evidence to support decision making.