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Concrete Gravity Dams

**Dam Safety Risk Analysis Best Practices
**

Last Modified 7/2/2010

**Bouzey Dam, France (structural)
**

• 72’ high gravity dam • Cutoff key sheared 1.1 ft during initial filling 1884 • Dam strengthened • Failed during subsequent filling through masonry in 1895

2

Bouzey Dam

• Back calculations of failed section indicate vertical tensile stress at the heel, Phi = 54o required for F.S. =1.0 • Masonry mortar used dirty sand of poor quality • Uplift recognized as a contributor for first time • Horizontal joint opening and subsequent uplift resulted in failure

3

WA • No cutoff to rock • Large springs developed D/S during filling • Single row of steel sheet piling driven 8 ft D/S of toe to depth of 30 ft • Gates closed reservoir rose to level of left abutment spillway 4 .Elwha Dam.

and attributed it to concentration of flow lines 5 .Elwha (WA) and Hauser (MT) • Terzaghi and Peck noted this failure.

Elwha Dam • • • • • • October 30. 90’ deep at D/S face Extensive property damage but no life loss Extraordinary measures to store reservoir 6 .000 acre-ft passed under dam in 1½-3 hrs Main portion of dam on rock abutments spanned hole Hole was 75’ deep at U/S face.000-12. 1912 piping failure of alluvium under dam 8.

PA (foundation sliding) • 52’ high gravity dam • Sandstone and shale foundation • January 17.Austin (Bayless) Dam. 1910 center base slid 18” with crest deflection of 31” • Reservoir lowered • Repairs recommended 7 .

1911 after heavy rains with water 7” deep over 8 spillway .Austin (Bayless) Dam • Repairs not made • Dam failed suddenly September 30.

Austin (Bayless) Dam • Paper mill whistle blew but warning went unheeded due to previous false alarms • 78 fatalities 9 .

Austin (Bayless) Dam • Primary cause sliding on weak shale layers within foundation • Friction angle less than 41 degrees would result in F.S. < 1 10 .

Koyna Dam. India (earthquake) • 340’ high gravity dam in SW India • 50’ wide monoliths • Joints not keyed or grouted • Only working seismograph on upper right abutment operational 11 .

M6.q. • Deep horizontal cracks u/s and d/s faces w/ leakage in most non-overflow monoliths near change in slope • Modern linear elastic analysis showed tensile stresses > tensile strength 12 Results of EAGD analysis .63 g PHA.5 nearby e.Koyna Dam • 0.

Koyna Dam Dam strengthened 13 .

Key Concepts • Gravity dams founded on alluvial foundations – see internal erosion section • Sliding on weak lift joints or foundation discontinuity key for gravity dams founded on rock • Foundation interface typically rough due to blasting • Lift joint clean up and placement practices key to strength of joints • Line of functioning drains adds to stability • Shear keys in joints enable load transfer between monoliths 14 .

Concrete Tensile Strength Use splitting tension values Raphael (1984) 15 May use apparent strength if a single spike is considered to cause cracking .

30 Sep 95. 1995 Adjustments for large size aggregate Adjustments for direct tension and anisotropy Adjustments for lift joint construction Recommendations for RCC See Corps of Engineers EP 1110-2-12. Appendix E • Used to estimate likelihood of cracking from calculated stress results • Not valid for ASR-affected concrete 16 .Concrete Tensile Strength • • • • • • Modifications by Cannon.

Cracked Base Analysis • Most published methodology and criteria are too conservative for risk analysis • Don’t assume full uplift at crack tip along foundation contact if foundation is significantly more permeable than concrete (which is typically the case) 17 .

) • Assume drains remain effective even if penetrated by a crack unless it is judged the amount of water would overwhelm them 18 .Cracked Base Analysis (cont.

Cracked Base Analysis (cont. consider uplift pressures no higher than tailwater at downstream face 19 . if evaluation indicates dam has cracked all the way through.) • In limiting case.

Beware of Apparent Cohesion on Cracked Section Strength often over-estimated by straight line fit (at low normal stress typical of gravity dams) 20 .

Gravity Dams – Shear Strength • Make sure added strengths are developed at compatible displacements 21 .

green-cutting (or sand blasting) laitance. and richer mix/smaller aggregate on top of cured concrete 22 .Leaking Lift Joints • Not necessarily un-bonded • Friant Dam – numerous leaking lifts. but core showed them to be intact • Check construction records to get a sense for how likely the joints are to be bonded • Good joint treatment would include water curing tops of lifts.

12-13 23 .Risks Under Normal Operations • Use Reliability Analysis for 2-D analysis sections and various loads (account for 3-D effects judgmentally) • Use as input to event trees Refer to pg.

Flood Risks • Break Ranges where heel stresses critical • Careful of nappe and tailwater forces • Can erosion daylight potential foundation sliding plane? Refer to pg. 12-14 24 .

Seismic Risks • Likelihood of cracking through the section • Likelihood of sufficient displacement to displace drains and increase uplift • Likelihood of post-earthquake instability • Dependent on earthquake load and reservoir level at time of earthquake 25 .

Seismic Risks 26 Refer to pg. 12-15 .

Build the case for why someone should believe the results. Make sure it can give the correct answer to simple problems. etc.Likelihood Section Cracks Through • Nonlinear finite element analysis • 2-D or 3-D Important Note: Nonlinear analysis is not for the faint of heart. Make sure you thoroughly test your model. 27 .

Likelihood of Cracking Through • Adverse Factors – Tensile stress on u/s face exceeds estimated dynamic tensile strength for upper load ranges – Cracks may propagate more readily than nonlinear analysis accounts for • Favorable Factors – Tensile stress on u/s face is less than estimated dynamic tensile strength for most load ranges – Coring showed good bond at lift joints – Nonlinear analysis showed only one monolith would crack through at upper load range • Identify Key Factors and Build the Case for Estimate 28 .

Likelihood of Shearing Drains • Nonlinear finite element analysis • Unbonded surface or shear/tensile cutoff Some simplified equations included in manual for estimating displacements from yield acceleration – Use with caution 29 .

Likelihood of Displacement/ Increase in Uplift • Adverse Factors – Nonlinear analysis showed displacements greater than drain diameter at upper load range. – Dilation on sliding plane could increase uplift without displacing drains • Favorable Factors – Nonlinear analysis showed displacements less than ½ the drain diameter for most load ranges – Nonlinear analysis assumed lift was cracked at beginning of E. causing rotation and binding at contraction joints • Identify Key Factors and Build the Case for 30 Estimate .Q. when in fact it is bonded – Nonlinear model did not include embankment wrap-around which could reduce sliding at ends.

Q. Instability • Use Reliability Analysis – Partially cracked section – Fully cracked section but drainage intact – Fully cracked section with drains sheared 31 .Likelihood of Post-E.

6 feet above the base.4 kips/ft.4 feet of a concrete gravity dam above a lift joint with base thickness of 16. The weight of this section of the dam is 64.2 feet and a reservoir loading of 32.500 lb/in2 and 6-inch maximum size aggregate? 32 . and the moment induced by the reservoir load on the upstream face and the dam weight together is 279 kip-ft/ft (downstream rotation). (The moment of inertia is equal to the base thickness cubed divided by 12.) Is the dam likely to crack at this location if it is constructed of conventional concrete with an unconfined compressive strength of 3.Exercise • Given: The upper 34. Calculate the total stress and effective stress at the upstream face in this location.

Possible Exercise Solution 33 .

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