Radin Espandar, Mark Locke and James Faithful
Brown coal ash has the potential to be a hazard to the environment and local communities if its storage is not well managed. The risk of releasing contained ash from an ash tailings dam due to earthquake induced liquefaction is a concern for mining lease holders, mining regulators and the community.Ash tailings dams are typically raised by excavating and compacting reclaimed ash to form new embankments over slurry deposited ash, relying on drying consolidation and minor cementation for stability. Understanding the post-earthquake behaviour of the brown coal ash is necessary to assess the overall stability of an ash tailings dam during and after seismic loading events.A particular concern is the seismic motion may break cementation bonds within the ash resulting in a large reduction in shear strength (i.e. sensitive soil behaviour) and potential instability. There is limited information available for black coal ash however, brown coal ash has different properties to black coal ash and no known work has been carried out to date in this area.The dynamic and post-earthquake behaviour, including liquefaction susceptibility, of the brown coal ash was studied, specifically for Hazelwood Ash Pond No. 4 Raise (HAP4A) in Latrobe Valley, Victoria. In this study, different well-known methods for liquefaction susceptibility, including the methods based on the index parameters, the cone penetration test (CPT) and the cyclic triaxial testing, were used and the results were compared.It was found that the impounded brown coal ash is susceptible to liquefaction and /or cyclic softening. Triggering of the liquefaction or softening was assessed based on the results of cyclic triaxial test.In this methodology, the relationship among axial strain(εa), Cyclic Stress Ratio (CSR) and number of uniform cycles (Nequ) was determined based on the triaxial test results. Then, asite-specific CSR was determined using the ground response analysis. The CSR and number of uniform cycles (Nequ) for each ash layer was calculated and added to the εa-CSR-Nequgraph to determine the expected axial strain during an MCE event. It was found that the calculated axial strain for the ash embankment and ash deposits during site specific Maximum Credible Earthquake (MCE) are less than the axial strain of the ash material required for triggering of liquefaction and the brown coal ash in HAP4A does not liquefy and/or soften the material during an MCE event. Also it was found that the insitu tests which break the cementation between particles(such as CPT)does not provide accurate results on triggering or sensitivity.
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In recent years, there has been greater expectations of waterway barriers to have more consideration of environmental factors; in particular associated with facilitating biopassage across the site.
The scope of the Gympie Weir Detailed Design Project included facilitating biopassage to as many aquatic species as possible,including the protected Mary River Turtle,while maintaining the required gauging accuracy and public amenities.Very rarely has a turtle been observed successfully traversing a fishway, as the designed velocity and depth criteria required to optimise fish passage is unsuitable for turtle passage. Thus for Gympie Weir,a leading-edge innovative solution was designed.
The design incorporates a low flow trapezoidal fishway chute, high flow rock ramp and turtle ramp. The turtle passage is the first of its kind and includes a curved concrete ramp with a variety of textures, two resting pools with protective niches, and limited vertical drop heights. Construction of the weir is intended for the near future and ongoing monitoring will be critical to assessing and improving performance, as well as contributing to the scientific knowledge base for future designs.
T. Allen, J. Griffin, M. Leonard, D. Clark and H. Ghasemi
Geoscience Australia (GA) has embarked on a project to update the seismic hazard model for Australia through the National Seismic Hazard Assessment (NSHA18) project.The draft NSHA18 update yields many important advances on its predecessors, including: 1) calculation in a full probabilistic framework using the Global Earthquake Model’s OpenQuake-engine; 2) consistent expression of earthquake magnitudes in terms of moment magnitude, MW; 3) inclusion of epistemic uncertainty through the use of alternative source models; 4) inclusion of a national fault-source model based on the Australian Neotectonic Features database; 5)the use of modern ground-motion models; and 6)inclusion of epistemic uncertainty on seismic source models, ground-motion models and fault occurrence and earthquake clusteringmodels.The draft NSHA18 seismic design ground motions are significantly lower than those in the current (1991-era) AS1170.4–2007 hazard map at the 1/500-year annual ground-motion exceedance probability (AEP) level. However, draft values at lower probabilities (i.e., 1/2475-year AEP) are entirely consistent,in terms of the percentage area of land mass exceeding different ground-motion thresholds,with other Stable Continental Regions(e.g.,central & eastern United States). The large reduction in seismic hazard at the 1/500-year AEP level has led to engineering design professionals questioning whether the new draft design values will provide enough structural resilience to potential seismic loads from rare large earthquakes. This process underscores the challenges in developing national-scale probabilistic seismic hazard analyses (PSHAs)in slowly-deforming regions, where a 1/500-year AEP design level is likely to be much lower than theANCOLD Maximum Credible Earthquake (MCE) ground motions. Consequently, a robust discussion among the Standards Australia code committee, hazard practitioners and end users is required to consider alternative hazard and/or risk objectives for future standards.Site-specific PSHAs undertaken for owners and operators of extreme and high consequence dams general-ly require hazard evaluations at lower probabilities than for typical structural designas recommended in AS1170.4.However, modern national assessments, such as the NSHA18, can provide a benchmark in terms of recommended seismicity models, fault-source models, ground-motion models, as well as hazard values, for low-probability site-specific analyses.With a new understanding of earthquake processes in Australia leading to lower ground-motion hazard values for higher probability events (e.g.,1/500-year AEP), we should also ask whether the currently recommended design probabilities provide an acceptable level of seismic resilience to critical facilities (such as dams)and regular structures.
Petros Armenis, Malcolm Barker, Peter Christensen, Graham Harrington
The Canterbury Earthquake Sequence in September 2010 and February 2011 caused large areas of land to change by differing amounts throughout Christchurch, New Zealand. Land levels fell by more than 300 mm in some areas. This increased flood risk in the tidal reaches of the Avon River. Urgent repairs were completed with the objective to restore the tidal river defences to a crest level equivalent to a 1% AEP tide level. This work needed to be completed prior to impeding spring tides.
The levees will be required for up to 20 years and then probably be rebuilt on a new alignment. To better understand the risks associated with the ongoing reliance of the levees for flood protection in the interim, a risk assessment was undertaken using conventional Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) practices and levee design procedures. Careful consideration was made to the performance of the existing levees under seismic, flood and tidal loading from which the societal and individual risk profiles were derived. The work included the following:
This paper will present the levee design and the process applied for the analysis of the levee and the upgrade options selection
Colleen Baker, Sean Ladiges, Peter Buchanan, James Willey, Malcolm Barker
Dam Owners and Designers are often posed with the question “what is an acceptable flood risk to adopt during the construction of dam upgrade works?” Both the current ANCOLD Guidelines on Acceptable Flood Capacity (2000) and the draft Guidelines on Acceptable Flood Capacity (2016) provide guidance on the acceptability of flood risk during the construction phase. The overarching principle in both the current and draft documents is that the dam safety risk should be no greater than prior to the works, unless it can be shown that this cannot reasonably be achieved.Typically with dam upgrade projects it is not feasible to take reservoirs off-line during upgrade works, with commercial and societal considerations taking precedent. It is therefore often necessary to operate the reservoir at normal levels or with only limited drawdown. The implementation of measures to maintain the risk at or below that of the pre-upgraded dam can have significant financial and program impacts on projects, such as through the construction of elaborate cofferdam arrangements and/or staging of works. This is particularly the case where upgrade works involve modifications to the dam’s spillway.The use of risk assessment has provided a reasonable basis for evaluating the existing and incremental risks associated with the works, such as the requirement for implementation of critical construction works during periods where floods are less likely, in order to justify the As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) position. This paper explores the ANCOLD guidelines addressing flood risk, and compares against international practice. The paper also presents a number of case studies of construction flood risk mitigation adopted for dam upgrades on some of Australia’s High and Extreme consequence dams, as well as international examples. The case studies demonstrate a range of construction approaches which enable compliance with the ANCOLD Acceptable Flood Capacity guidelines
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.