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Francisco Lopez and Michael McKay
At 36 m high and completed in 1902, Barossa Dam is one of the first true concrete arch dams in the world. During the 1954 Darlington Earthquake the dam sustained some damage, in the form of several vertical cracks on both dam’s abutments. In 2013, GHD conducted a nonlinear time-history seismic assessment of Barossa Dam. The analyses, carried out using finite element techniques, included ground motion loading corresponding to Maximum Design Earthquakes (MDEs) with 1 in 10,000 Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP).
This paper will explain the purpose of the study, the material investigation phase, the methodology, model results, the anticipated seismic behaviour of the dam wall, as well as the predicted level of damage under the MDEs. The paper examines the dam construction practices of the beginning of the 20th century, and how such practices affected the material properties and the structural performance of Barossa Dam.
Michael McKay and Francisco Lopez
Mt Bold Dam impounds the largest reservoir in South Australia. The dam wall comprises 19 concrete monoliths, 11 forming a central arch section and 8 forming gravity sections on the left and right abutments. The upstream face of the arch section is vertical, but the top portion overhangs on the reservoir side. The dam was originally constructed in the 1930s, and was raised by 4.3 m in the 1960s. In this upgrade the gravity abutments were raised using mass concrete blocks and the arch non-overflow crest was raised with hollow, reinforced concrete portals. On the spillway section a pier and gate system was installed on top of a hollow ogee section. The maximum height of the dam in its current configuration is 58 m.Learn more
GHD has been conducting a staged safety review of Mt Bold Dam since 2011. This included a detailed finite element nonlinear, time-history seismic analysis of the dam-foundation-reservoir system. The analysis was carried out using finite element techniques and included a detailed 3D model of all major components of the dam and different domains of the foundation rock. The nonlinearity of the model was included by explicitly incorporating contact elements at the dam-foundation interface, at the monolith contraction joints, and at some identified unbonded horizontal concrete lift joints within the dam wall. The seismic analysis was conducted for three different accelerograms corresponding to Maximum Design Earthquakes (MDEs) with 1 in 10,000 Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP).
This paper explains the purpose of the study, the adopted methodology and material properties, the results of the modelling phases, and the anticipated seismic behaviour and damage on the main components of the dam resulting from the MDEs. Finally, a conclusion is made in regards to whether or not Mt Bold Dam passes the adopted performance criteria for seismic loading.
Keywords: Arch, gravity, seismic, nonlinear, damage prediction.
Robert Shelton, Jako Abrie, Matt Wansbone
The Mahinerangi dam – arguably the most valuable in Trustpower’s portfolio of 47 large dams – is over 80 years old and needs a plan of work to confirm it meets current design standards.
The dam was completed in 1931, subsequently raised in 1944-1946, and strengthened with steel tendon anchors in 1961.
A comprehensive safety review (CSR) in 2007 noted a potential deficiency in the fully grouted anchors and a program of work commenced to re-evaluate the overall stability of the dam.
A potential failure mode assessment revealed that the dam may need upgrading to meet the criteria for maximum design earthquake (MDE). Areas of uncertainty were identified and a significant programme of survey, geological mapping, concrete testing and site specific seismic assessments have been carried out to reduce risk and uncertainty in design.
The paper discusses the dam’s history, current condition, and describes the ongoing programme of work planned to extend the life of the dam for another 80+ years.Learn more
John Harris, James Robinson, Ron Fleming
Haldon Dam Remediation: A Case Study of Earthquake Damage and RestorationJohn Harris, James Robinson, Ron FlemingAECOM New Zealand LimitedAECOM New Zealand Limited, Fleming Project Services Limited Haldon Dam is a 15m high zoned earth-fill embankment irrigation dam, located approximately 10 km south-west of Seddon, in the Awatere Valley, New Zealand. The crest and upstream shoulder of the embankment suffered serious damage during the 2013 Cook Strait earthquakes, and the Regulator enforced emergency lowering of the reservoir by 5.5m to reduce the risk of flooding to Seddon Township from a potential dam failure. AECOM was engaged by the owner to carry out a forensic analysis of the damaged dam and subsequently the design of the 2-Stage remedial works. The remedial works addressed the existing dam deficiencies and earthquake damage in order to restore the dam to full operational capacity and gain code compliance certification. Key features oft he approach included holding a design workshop with the owner prior to undertaking detailed design, careful rationalisation of the upstream shoulder to optimise the competing interests of strength and permeability, contractor and regulator involvement in the design and construction process, and balancing risk and constructability with the chimney filter retrofit. This paper presents a description of, and approach to, remedial works solution undertaken to remediate a substandard and earthquake-damaged dam to fully operational status in an area of high seismicity. Applying this approach, the objective of achieving a robust, safe, economical design that was acceptable to the regulators and the owner was achieved.Learn more
ANCOLD published its first Guidelines for Design of Dams for Earthquake in 1998. The Guidelines were prepared to bring together knowledge about earthquakes in Australia following the devastating
Newcastle (1989 magnitude Mw 5.4) and the Tennant Creek (1988 magnitude Mw 6.6) earthquakes, and improved analytical methods to predict the behaviour of dams subject to earthquake.
When the 1998 Guidelines were issued, it was recognised that over time there would be improved data and tools to help the designer. This has indeed been the case and ANCOLD decided that it would be timely to update its Guidelines to incorporate the significant advances made in the understanding of earthquakes, seismic hazard assessments, analysis and design.
The Working Group convened to produce these updated Guidelines, replacing the 1998 Guidelines, was composed of representatives from dam owners, State dam safety regulatory agencies and private consulting practices. The draft Guidelines were made available for comment by ANCOLD members and international review of the Guidelines was undertaken by eminent practitioners in the subject matter from the United States, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Because of the seismic hazard uncertainty and the associated structural response, these Guidelines
encourage the use of risk-based methods for assessing existing dams and for the design of new dams. However, the deterministic approach is also covered for those owners who prefer to use it.
This guideline is the culmination of a great deal of voluntary work by convenor, Mr Steve O’Brien and his working group. It is a significant development for dam engineering in Australia and will be a valuable resource.
As with all ANCOLD Guidelines, this guideline is not a design code or standard and has been produced for the guidance of experienced practitioners who are required to apply their own professional skill and judgement in its application. Users must keep abreast of developments in the design of dams and appurtenant structures for earthquake and take those developments into account when using these Guidelines.
The Guidelines will again be reviewed when knowledge and practice have developed to a point when an update is required. Accordingly, ANCOLD welcomes comments from users and other interested parties.
Shane McGrathLearn more
Chairman of ANCOLD Inc.
Upstream construction methodology has been used to raise tailings dams in Western Australia (WA) for more than three decades, and the tailings storage facilities (TSFs) built in this manner have performed satisfactorily so far. The maximum design earthquake (MDE) for most of the existing, upstream-raised TSFs in WA was that corresponding to a 1-in-1,000 year annual exceedance probability (1:1,000 AEP). However, the recommended MDE loading for the High/Extreme Failure Consequence Category in the 2012 ANCOLD Guidelines on Tailings Dams is that of a 1:10,000 AEP. This more stringent seismic design criterion may restrict the use of upstream TSF construction in some areas of WA and Australia in general.Learn more
To evaluate the viability of upstream construction for a new or existing TSF, the effects of the earthquake design ground motion (EDGM) on the liquefaction and deformation response of the structure must be understood. The results of such analyses are an essential component in determining whether upstream raising will be feasible, or whether more robust but much more costly centreline or downstream construction methods are required.
A parametric study was completed to investigate the liquefaction and deformation behaviour of a typical, upstream-raised tailings dam under different earthquake design ground motions with different response spectra. The study utilized two-dimensional finite difference code FLAC2D effective stress dynamic analysis, in which the UBCSAND constitutive soil model was incorporated. Twenty-eight earthquake ground motions (matched and unmatched to the target response spectrum) were used in the study and the liquefaction response of the tailings dam model under those ground motions was analysed.
The results of the study demonstrate the importance of appropriate ground motion and response spectrum selection in assessing the seismic performance of an upstream-raised TSF. Liquefaction response was shown to vary with different response spectra, even though the corresponding EDGMs had similar peak ground acceleration (PGA) values. The importance of earthquake frequency content and duration, which in turn are affected by earthquake magnitude, distance and ground motion response, is emphasized. Scaling and matching the earthquake input motion to the uniform hazard response spectrum (UHRS) may result in overly-conservative design. Thus, selection of the most representative EDGM is essential to evaluating expected seismic performance for an upstream-raised TSF, and scaling or matching the earthquake input motions must be done cautiously.
A. Swindon, M. Gillon, D. Clark, P Somerville, R. Van Dissen and D. Rhoades
The 45 km long Lake Edgar Fault in south-west Tasmania passes through the right abutment of the Edgar Dam and into Lake Pedder, and within 30 km of three other large dams. In 2004 an independent seismotectonic study concluded that the fault had moved three times in the past 48–61,000 years, with the last movement around 18,000 years ago.
In order to better constrain the risk assessment for the nearby dams, the likelihood of a rupture recurrence along the fault was required. Two independent methods were investigated. The first was a comprehensive review of active faulting and deformation of stable continental region faults within Australia, and a comparison with similar faults worldwide with the well studied behaviour of the Lake Edgar Fault. The study results demonstrated the episodic nature of stable continental region fault activity, separated by much longer periods of quiescence, with a decreasing likelihood of rupture following each event within an active period. The time window of applicability of this paleoseismological study is thousands to tens of thousands of years.
The second study looked for evidence of precursory seismic activity in the vicinity of the fault which could indicate an increasing risk of rupture over the next decade or so. This method does not predict specific earthquakes, but does forecast whether the level of future earthquake activity in the short to intermediate term is relatively low, high or at an average level. Using a catalogue of seismic activity for south-eastern Australia, the study concluded that there is no evidence for precursory seismic activity in the area of the Lake Edgar Fault that would give rise to an elevated forecast rate of occurrence of moderate magnitude earthquakes either in the short to intermediate term. This precursory method has a window of applicability of a decade to perhaps several decades.
The combination of these two studies has advanced the understanding of the Lake Edgar Fault activity by both setting it in the long-term stable continental region fault context and investigating the presence of short-term behavioural activity. This has allowed the seismic hazard to be re-assessed as nearer to ambient levels than earlier postulated. This work has applicability for other fault scarps in Australia, both with regards to better defining the long-term hazard (103-105 years) posed by a fault, and potentially also giving advance (short-term 101 years) notification of increasing risk of fault rupture. Better long- and short-term hazard information allows more complete and thorough engineering decisions to be made.
Keywords: Earthquake, seismic, fault rupture, dam safety, risk assessment, Hydro Tasmania, Lake Edgar Fault.Learn more
John Grimston, David Leong, Robin Dawson
The Angat Multipurpose Project, originally constructed in the 1960’s, is located 60 km north-east of Manila, and provides power, irrigation and domestic water supply and flood mitigation. The major water-retaining structures of the scheme are a 131 m high main rockfill dam and a 55 m high rockfill saddle dam.
Previous seismology studies have identified the presence of a possible branch of the West Valley Fault crossing under the saddle dam. If the fault dislocated, the branch under the saddle dam could produce horizontal and vertical shear displacements. Further, earthquake shaking poses a risk outside the fault zone. If the main dam/saddle dam were to fail in such an event, there would be major consequences in respect to both the water supply (serves a population of approximately 10 million) and the large population living below the dams. The dams are thus in the highest hazard category under any internationally accepted standard.
A study to investigate the dam safety aspects and identify remediation works which would bring the seismic performance of the main dam/saddle dam system up to an acceptable level was undertaken and included:
- Investigations and topographic survey of main dam/saddle dam
- seismic dynamic response studies
- review of current Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) to assess spillway capacity
- preparation of remedial actions plan for dam remedial works
- dam break analysis
- preparation of Emergency Action Plan
- site specific seismic hazard assessment
- preparation of concept design for remedial works including Design-Build contract documentation.
The main conclusions were:
- the peak PMF inflow into Angat reservoir is now estimated to be 12,000 m3/s compared with the previous PMF estimate of 8400 m3/s
- the ultimate discharge capacity of the spillway before the dam is overtopped at the abutments (assuming zero freeboard) is 7,180 m3/s
- the spillway capacity is just short of the PMF standard and, the ultimate capacity of the spillway corresponds with about a 70,000 year return period flood event based on consideration of flood and volume frequency analyses of historical floods
- an auxiliary spillway would be needed to safely pass the PMF
- the main dam/saddle dam require remediation due to the potentially high degree of seismic shaking and the potential for fault dislocation under the saddle dam.
Keywords: Dam, Remedial, Seismic, Fault, Spillway.
Craig Johnson, Mark Arnold
Toorourrong Reservoir is a small storage reservoir which was constructed in 1885 and forms an important part of Melbourne’s water supply network. As part of Melbourne Water’s dam safety upgrade program, remedial works at Toorourrong Reservoir were identified to address deficiencies in flood capacity, embankment stability and to provide protection against piping. These works included an engineered filter system, downstream stabilising berm and raising of the dam crest level by 2.3m through a combination of earthfill and a concrete parapet wall. The existing spillway also required substantial enlargement and the existing scour and outlet structures were to be reconfigured. These works were designed and undertaken by the Water Resources Alliance (WRA).
Preliminary geotechnical investigations indicated the dam was founded on soft alluvial deposits, with the potential for foundation liquefaction under earthquake loading. During the course of subsequent investigations, the full complexity of the dam foundation was realised using numerous techniques including geophysics, CPT
u probes and seismic dilatometer testing. The results of these investigations were used to develop a detailed geotechnical model and embankment design sections. A range of analytical methods were utilised to characterise the liquefaction potential of the foundation, with these making reference to recent developments in this area of practice. Through an extensive assessment and review process, the design soil properties for the foundation were established and the liquefaction potential determined.
Based on these assessments, it was found that the potential for liquefaction existed across the majority of the dam foundation, with discrete soil layers liquefying depending on the intensity of the design seismic event. Strain-weakening (sensitive) soils were also identified in the foundation. A quasi risk-based stability assessment was undertaken for a range of post-liquefaction strength parameters and FoS to determine the sensitivity of the foundation response. Stability analyses were performed which indicated that additional stabilising berms were required at several locations. However, even with these berms, the extremely low post-liquefaction strengths meant that further ground improvement was required. This was assessed further and Grouted Stone Columns (GSC) were ultimately selected as the preferred foundation improvement method for the critical design sections with GSC to be installed both upstream and downstream to reinforce the dam foundation. This is the first time GSC have been used in Australia and some key “lessons learned” will be discussed.
Richard R. Davidson, Joergen Pilzand Bruce Brown
Recent earthquakes in Chile, New Zealand and Japan have created a new focus on the safe design of tailings dams in seismic regions of the world. Building sand and rockfill embankments to sustain large ground motions and provide crucial drainage of excess pore pressures remain daunting challenges at each site. Are conventional hydraulic deposition practices still viable? What new technologies can be considered? Addressing seismic stability of existing upstream method tailings dams whether currently in operation or closed is stretching our seismic geotechnical engineering profession to its limits of understanding of behaviour. Creating a safe, secure environmental storage must also be integrated with the geotechnical and hydrologic concerns. Is there a viable risk context to consider these competing issues? This paper will raise these issues within the international context and suggest a prudent path forward.Learn more
Krey Price, Mike Harvey, Bob Mussetter, Stuart Trabant
The California Department of Water Resources, Division of Dam Safety (DWR-DSD), has determined that San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River in Monterey County, California, does not meet seismic safety standards. Several alternatives have been considered to decommission the dam and eliminate the hazard, including thickening of the 25-m-high, concrete arch structure, lowering the dam, and complete removal. At the present time, the upstream reservoir that had an original storage capacity of about 1.8 GL, is essentially filled with sediment. The 29-km reach of the Carmel River between the dam and the Pacific Ocean passes through urbanised areas within the upscale Carmel Valley; flooding and channel stability in these areas are significant concerns. The Carmel River also contains habitat for the endangered steelhead and red-legged frog that could be positively or negatively affected by the decommissioning.
After an extensive series of hydraulic and sediment transport modelling studies, two actions remain under consideration: (1) dam thickening, which will require reconstruction of the existing fish ladder and construction of an adjacent, 3-metre diameter sluice gate to prevent sediment build-up from blocking the ladder outlet, and (2) removal of the dam and rerouting the river into a tributary branch of the reservoir, which would isolate approximately 65 percent of the existing sediment deposits from future river flows and eliminate a significant fish-passage problem. Both options were modelled extensively in hydrologic, hydraulic, and sediment transport applications. Since available models do not adequately represent sediment dynamics at the sluice gate, a special sediment routing model was formulated to evaluate this aspect of Option 1. Option 2 is currently preferred by the resource agencies, since it would optimise endangered species habitat; however, this option would be three to four times more expensive than Option 1, and funding limitations may impact the alternative selection. Evaluation efforts are ongoing, along with approaches to address liability issues associated with the decommissioning actions for the privately owned facility, while optimising the benefits and costs of the selected action.Learn more