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Module 2 Lecture 10 Permeability and Seepage -6 Topics
1.2.11 Plotting of Phreatic Line for Seepage through Earth Dams 1.2.12 Entrance, Discharge, and Transfer Conditions of Line of Seepage through Earth Dams 1.2.13 Flow net Construction for Earth Dams 1.2.14 Filter Design

1.2.11

Plotting of Phreatic Line for Seepage through Earth Dams

For construction of flow nets for seepage through earth dams, the phreatic line needs to be established first. This is usually done by the method proposed by Casagrande (1937) and is shown in Figure 2.60a. Note that in Figure 2.60a is the actual phreatic line. The curve is a parabola with its focus at ; the phreatic line coincides with this parabola, but with some deviations at the upstream and the downstream force. At a point , the phreatic line starts at an angle of to the upstream face of the dam and .

Figure 2.60 Determination of phreatic line for seepage through an earth dam

Dept. of Civil Engg. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

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the values of for various values of (2.196) substituting these conditions into equation (2. Boston. the curve can be approximately Dept. 1937. the value of can be calculated from equation (2. Casagrande. Indian Institute of Technology. can be calculated from equation To complete the phreatic line.198) With known. has been located.198) and the parabola can be constructed.183) as Note that in Figure 2.60b.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering Figure 2. Seepage through Dams. thus At obtain Since (2. of Civil Engg.NPTEL. Contribution to Soil Mechanics. 1925-1940.61 Plot of against downstream slope angle. the portion has to be approximated and drawn by hand. Boston Society of Civil Enginering. Kanpur 2 . 2. the value of can be calculated. (2.197) are known. (After A. we (2. Now referring to Figure 2.) The parabola can be constructed as follows: based on the 1. From equation (2. Let the distance be equal to .196). .60a. When . Once point drawn by hand.196) and rearranging. properties of a parabola).

Solution And From equation (2.60a. . 1 Using equation (2. After locating the point on the downstream face. Casagrande proposed that the value of can be determined by using the graph given in Figure 2.NPTEL. the curve can be approximately drawn by hand. In Figure 2. Plot the phreatic line for seepage.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering If .04 99.198). of Civil Engg. Kanpur 3 .1 120. Example 1. An earth dam section is shown in Figure 2.2 64.61.62.62.73 81.42 calculated in the above table.10. . 166 142. we can now determine the coordinates of several points of the parabola 70 65 60 55 50 45 Using the values of and corresponding plotted in Figure 2. For the earth dam section.197). the basic parabola has been Dept. Indian Institute of Technology.

Kanpur 4 . The coordinates of point can be determined by solving the above two equations: Or Hence The solution of the above equation gives so From Figure 2.61. The equation of the line can be given by and the equation of the parabola [equation (2. of Civil Engg.62. for .Advanced Geotechnical Engineering Figure 2. Indian Institute of Technology. Dept. So. .NPTEL.198)] is .62 We calculate as follows. The curve portions can now be approximately drawn by hand which completes the phreatic line Figure 2.

1. Contribution to Soil Mechanics.. (After A. and transfer conditions. and transfer conditions. Discharge. Figure 2. discharge. Kanpur 5 . Figure 2. Using the conditions given in Figure 2. Figure 2. discharge. and transfer conditions.63 shows various entrances. when the flow is from a material of permeability into a free draining material ( ) it is referred to as discharge. 1925-1940. Similarly. discharge. Indian Institute of Technology.12 Entrance.63 we can determine the nature of the phreatic lines for various types of earth dam sections.64 shows an earth Dept.NPTEL. and Transfer Conditions of Line of Seepage through Earth Dams A. discharge.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering 1. we can proceed to draw flow nets for earth dam sections. The transfer conditions show the nature of deflection of the line of seepage when passing from a materials of permeability .63 Entrance. of Civil Engg. and transfer conditions for the line of seepage through earth dams. into a material of permeability it is called an entrance. When we consider the flow from a free draining material (coefficient of permeability very large. Boston. Casagrande.2. Seepage through Dams.2.Casagrande (1937) analyzed the entrance.13 Flow net Construction for Earth Dams With knowledge of the nature of the phreatic line and the entrance.

4.NPTEL. the number of flow channels. determine the number of equipotential drops. 2. of Civil Engg.5. Draw the phreatic line.65. the following steps must be followed: Figure 2. the flow net needs to have and calculate . hence the difference of total head between any two equipotnetial lines should be equal to the difference in elevation between the points where these equipotential lines intersect the phreatic line Since loss of hydraulic head between any two consecutive equipotential lines is the same. It is important to realize that the pressure head at any point on the phreati line is zero. a trial and error procedure will have to be adopted for the construction of flow nets (Cedergren.118). Indian Institute of Technology. 6. . Also. and the bottom flow channel has elements with a width-to-length ratio of 0. 1. To draw the flow net.65a.3. . Kanpur 6 . in Figure 2.64. 1977). 3. Draw the head lines on the cross section of the dam.2. This technique is demonstrated in Figure 2. In Figure 2. The steps to obtain the flow net are as follows: 1. keeping in mind that the equipotential lines and flow lines must intersect at right angles.64 Flow-net constructions for an earth dam.64 is equal to 10. is equal to 2. . The flow net can then be drawn on the transformed section. 5. Draw the flow net. Note that is an equipotential line and that is a flow line. If the dam section is anisotropic with respect to permeability.3. If the phreatic line for the dam section is not known. Also draw the approximate zone of the phreatic line as shown in Figure 2. and the rate of seepage obtained from equation (2. Dept. The points of intersection of the head lines and the phreatic lines are the points from which the equipotential lines should start. The top two flow channels have square flow elements. The rate of seepage through the earth dam can be calculated from the relation given in equation (2.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering dam section that is homogeneous with respect to permeability. a transformed section should first be prepared in the manner outlines in section 2. Draw the head lines for the cross section of the dam..124). since this is known.

Now check the number of flow channels between any two consecutive equipotential lines. some adjustment has to be made by moving the phreatic line and the flow and equipotential lines. From equation (2. After a few trials. (The arrows in Figure 2.65 Flow-net construction for an earth dam sectionwith unknown phreatic line. Kanpur 7 . Draw an approximate flow net. If not.” 2d ed. “Seepage.66 and 1.68. The phreatic line has to be plotted by trial and error.NPTEL. The soil for the upstream half of the dam has permeability . of Civil Engg.65b. R. A flow net for seepage through a zoned earth dam section is shown in Figure 2. Cedergren.125).. Assume a trial saturation line (phreatic line) as shown in Figure 2.) 3. If the flow net is correctly drawn. and the soil for the downstream half of the dam has permeability . As shown in Figure 2. Wiley. here the seepage is from a soil of low permeability (upstream half) to a soil of high permeability (downstream half). the final flow net can be obtained as shown in Figure 2. Dept. Indian Institute of Technology.65c Figure 2.67 shows some typical flow nets through earth dam sections. New York. 1977) Figure 2.37b. Drainage and Flow Nets.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering 2.65b show the direction of needed correction. (Modified after H. the number of flow channels between any two consecutive equipotential lines should be the same.

66 Typical flow net for an earth dam with rock toe filter Figure 2. Indian Institute of Technology. and Figure 2.NPTEL.67 Typical flow net for an earth dam with chimney drain Dept. of Civil Engg. and the flow elements in the downstream half have a width-to-length ratio of 1/5.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering If . Kanpur 8 . For that reason. square flow elements have been plotted in the upstream half of the dam. The rate of seepage can be calculated by using the following equation: Where is the number of full flow channels in the soil having permeability is the number of full flow channels in the soil having a permeability .

Such a situation can be prevented by the use of a filter or protective filter between the two soils. If rock fills were only used at the toe of the dam. Over a period of time. this process may clog the void spaces in the coarser material.66.2.NPTEL. For example.69). for the safety of the structure. two conditions should be kept in mind: Dept. Indian Institute of Technology. For the proper selection of the filter material. the seepage water would wash the fine soil grains into the toe and undermine the structure. Kanpur 9 . there is a danger that the fine soil particles may wash away into the coarse material. a filter should be placed between the fine soil and the rock toe ( Figure 2.14 Filter Design When seepage water flows from a soil with relatively fine grains into a coarser material. of Civil Engg. consider the earth dam section shown in Figure 2.68 Flow net for seepage through a zoned earth dam 1.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering Figure 2. Hence.

Kanpur 10 . Indian Institute of Technology.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering Figure 2. Based on the experimental investigation of protective filters. The size of the voids in the filter material should be small enough to hold the larger particles of the protected material in place. The filter material should have a high permeability to prevent building of large seepage forces and hydrostatic pressure in the filter. Let the grain-size distribution of this soil be given by curve in Figure 2.70. 2. Bertram (1940) provided the following criteria to satisfy the above condition: (2.200) (2. Consider the soil used for the construction of the earth dam shown in Figure 2.NPTEL. of Civil Engg.201) Where The proper use of equation (2.70.69 Use of filter at the toe of an earth dam 1.200) and (2.69. We can Dept.201) to determine the grain-size distribution of soils used as filters is shown in Figure 2.

if of the protected soil is greater than increased to 40. S. Also. The U.2 mm). (2.70 Determination of grain-size distribution of filter using eqs. 1. Navy (1971) requires the following conditions for the design of filters.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering now determine and plot them as shown in Figure 2. For avoiding buildup of large seepage force in the filter. For avoiding the movement of the particles of the protected soil: If the uniformity coefficient of the protected soil is less than increased to . The filter material should not have grain sizes greater than 3 in (76. Figure 2.69) to protect the filter material from being washed away.NPTEL.200) and (2.70. Indian Institute of Technology. Kanpur 11 . of Civil Engg.201) The same principle can be adopted for determination of the size limits for the rock layer (Figure 2. The acceptable grainsize distribution of the filter material will have to lie in the shaded zone. 2. (This is to avoid segregation of particles in the filter. may be may be 3.) Dept.

To avoid the movement of the filter material into the drain-pipe perforations. the diameters through which 60% and 10% of the filter material is passing. and Belyashevskii et al.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering 4. of Civil Engg. he developed the chart given in Figure 2. 200 sieve. such as those shown in Figure 2. When perforated pipes are used for collecting seepage water. Learhterwood and Peterson (1954).203) Where and are. Based on this work. S. to study the condition of seepage into sloping filters placed at the downstream side of earth dams. Dayaprakash and Gupta (1972). and b. it should have no more than 5% passing a No. 5. filters are also used around the pipes to protect the fine-grained soil from being washed into the pipes. Indian Institute of Technology.) Dept. respectively.71. Kanpur 12 . the diameters through which 60% and 10% of the soil to be protected in passing.202) And (2. (Note that in Figure 2. required on the downstream side of an earth dam. and is the coefficient of permeability of the soil of the earth dam.71a. and and are. (1972). respectively. . Corps of Engineers (1953). U. is the coefficient of permeability of the filter material.NPTEL.71c which allows us to determine the minimum thickness of filter material. Based on this analysis. the stable filter design criteria may be given by the following equations: (2. To avoid internal movement of fines in the filter. they recommended that when the soil to be protected is of a granular nature. the following additional conditions should be met: Thanikachalam and Sakthivadivel (1974) analyzed experimental results for filters reported by Karpoff (1955). Cedegren (1960) constructed several flow nets.

Kanpur 13 . ASCE.. no. Div. vol. [After H. Cedergren. Indian Institute of Technology. Dept. Found. Soil Mech. 1960. J. of Civil Engg. 86. SM5 (part I). R.Advanced Geotechnical Engineering Figure 2. Seepage Requirement of Filters and Pervious Bases.NPTEL.71 Thickness of filter material on the downstream side of an earth dam.