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R. Peter Brenner1 and Richard Guim nd1 !uha Laa" nen# !uer$ S%eer&i' ()intar" O"tanie*ic"+ ABSTRA,T The Plavinas hydro-electric powerplant in Latvia is located within a complex hydro-geologic environment. The powerhouse/spillway structure is founded on a buried valley, filled with glacial till and having pressurized a uifers on its flan!s. Pressure and seepage control is by means of drainage blan!ets and wells in the foundation and relief wells on the downstream right ban!. " large number of piezometers monitors the pressure in the various stratigraphic units. #or the design of a reserve spillway re uired to ensure safety against flood events, the existence of highly pressured zones at the contact of the till with the pressurized a uifers on the slope of the buried valley was an important geological consideration. $ydro-geological investigations revealed that these zones are hydraulically connected. The stilling basin of the reserve spillway will be close to the buried valley but construction activities must not interfere with pressurized strata. %eal-time monitoring of piezometric heads by means of an automatic data ac uisition system will be used as a tool to ensure safety during construction activities. INTRO(-,TION The Plavinas powerplant is the uppermost hydro-electric station of the &augava hydrocascade in Latvia. 't is located near the town of "iz!rau!le, some () !m east of the capital city of %iga and about *)+ !m upstream from the river,s estuary. -ith its presently ./..0 1- of installed capacity and a maximum gross head of 2) m, it is also the largest of the three powerplants forming the cascade. 't was designed by 'nstitute $ydropro3ect, 1oscow, and commissioned in *(//. The scheme consists of a *4.4 m long, right wing emban!ment dam, a *0. m long concrete section consisting of the powerhouse with the spillway discharging over it, the main hydraulic fill dam of /+0 m in length, built across the present river channel, and a left wing emban!ment dam, *.(4 m long, as illustrated in #ig. *. The main dam and both wing emban!ment dams are founded on dolomite roc!, which is partly !arstic, whereas the powerhouse-spillway structure, consisting of two ad3acent bloc!s separated by a vertical 3oint, is situated on a deep buried pre-glacial valley filled mainly with glacial and fluvioglacial deposits. GEOLOGI,AL AN( H.(RO/GEOLOGI,AL SETTING AN( ,ON,ERNS Strati$ra%h0 The powerhouse-spillway structure is the principal component of the scheme. $owever, its design and later its performance have been strongly affected by the difficult foundation conditions and the regional hydro-geological setting. The Plavinas site lies in the 5altic artesian basin. The &augava river in the Plavinas area represents a low regional drainage *

sand 20-0) > and gravel +-*) >. 4))/9. The thic!ness of the sedimentary complex can reach up to about . The materials filling the pre-7uaternary buried valley are predominantly tills. The subsurface conditions consist of a series of sedimentary roc! strata of 1iddle to 6pper &evonian age. with fluvioglacial deposits on top. 49. scoured from the valley flan!s by the glacier and/ bro!en off from higher elevations. particularly the sandstones of the "mata formation are believed to contain numerous vertical discontinuities. * Layout of Plavinas dam and location of reserve spillway The sandstone and dolomite layers are relatively pervious and act as a uifers. :ome of these strata are confined a uifers and are under artesian pressure.) >. 'n the Latvian language this material is termed as ?BleifA which has been translated as ?TrainA. The &evonian series is predominantly sub-horizontal and includes sandstones of the "uri!ula-5urtnie!u and the <au3a-"mata stratigraphic units and dolomite roc!s of the Plavinas-&augava complex. This material. typically having the following fractions= clay *2-*+ >. 't is highly pervious and may serve as a hydraulic lin! between a uifers 8&islere. :ome of these may originate from stress release when the valley was eroded. ?@ntrainedA bedroc! material lines the slopes of the buried valley. but there are also more pervious zones with lenses of gravel and also pebbles.)) m. " simplified listing of the stratigraphy is given in Table *. The texture of the till is mostly clayey sand. silt . The %ussian designer termed the more sandy till as sandy loam and the more clayey variety as loam. F undati n "ee%a$e c ntr & 4 . The &evonian roc!s along the buried valley are fissured and crac!ed.system. covered by 7uaternary deposits 8#ig. was dragged along the valley and consists mainly of gravel and roc! fragments. These materials are fairly impervious. #ig. They are interspersed with silty-clayey deposits acting as a uicludes.

. ?dolostonesA &olostones and dolomitic marls &olostones. wea!ly cemented :andstones and siltstones "pproximate thic!ness 8m9 more than *)) m in buried valley *) to *0 *) to *.dg9 :alaspils 8&. 4))/9= • • Connected with the powerhouse structure= an upstream apron with drainage. gl-74 &augava 8&.. #ig.amt9 <au3a 8&. a multilayer filter blan!et and drainage wells below the foundation slab. 4 <eological section through buried valley along the dam axis Table * "ge 7uaternary to %ecent 6pper &evonian 6pper &evonian 6pper &evonian 6pper &evonian 6pper &evonian 1iddle &evonian :tratigraphy 8designation9 al-74 E f-7. and a downstream apron with drainage blan!et and relief holes Dn the downstream right ban!= a large number of relief wells. 4* to . wea!ly cemented.4 *+-4+ 0) F /) .The prevailing hydro-geologic regime in the Plavinas area was a decisive design consideration in the realization of the powerhouse.slp9 Plavinas 8&. with intercalations of sand and clay :andstone.g39 5urtnie!u 8&4br9 :tratigraphic units at Plavinas dam site Type of material %iver alluvium with gravel and pebbles <lacial till of variable composition &olomite. arranged in several rows to drain the "mata sandstone and a drainage gallery in the Plavinas dolomite.pl9 6pper "mata Lower "mata 8&. dolomitic marls. To ensure the stability of this structure. and silts :andstones. carbonate clays. namely 8see also -ieland et al. comprehensive measures in seepage and pressure control had to be provided.

was drilled right next to it for the purpose of soil sampling. they consisted of a wire-wound steel bar s!eleton covered by a slotted steel pipe or a wire mesh. after some years. liters/s in the period Ianuary *( to 4). :tarting from #ebruary .+ !m downstream in a small tributary valley drained by the Lauce river when on Ianuary /. These three wells can be considered as a singularity of the right ban! relieving system.e.. very high upward hydraulic gradients exist for the continuity of the groundwater flow. Their cumulative discharge decreased from (4 liters/s to . about 0) to /) m from the downstream edge of the powerhouse 8see #ig. while the screen of the third well is in the "mata sandstone. 'nterestingly. &rops of around one meter could even be observed in some of the piezometers in the moraine. "ctually. There is an upward trending flow of the groundwater within the pervious and across the impervious sediments.. 84))/9. "bundant presence of mica particles tends to clog the gravel pac! in the vicinity of the screens thus re uiring re-development and. m. The control of the uplift pressure through drainage and relieving is critical for the stability of the powerhouse. about /)> of the total discharge. *(((.increased again.. some years ago an incident similar to a blowout occurred in the vicinity of these wells. embedded in a gravel pac!. i. *(((. . The filter screens of two of these wells are in the Train material. :ome wells also e3ect sand. :ome of them have to be pumped while others are free flowing. The locations of the relief wells on the right ban! and of piezometers on both the right and the left ban! are shown in #ig. -hen the drilling of this borehole.+ m in Pz . The reason for the high discharge of these wells is not clear but it is believed that these wells are in contact with a larger fracture in the "mata sandstone providing a hydraulic connection with deeper a uifers.( m in the vicinity of the powerhouse 8piezometer Pz . H0dr /$e & $ica& "in$u&aritie" The total discharge of the relief wells on the right ban! amounts to about */) liters/s. 6sually. less pervious variety of the morainic soil. a borehole was advanced in combination with a cone penetration test 8CPT-/9 in the undisturbed morainic soil 8see #ig. *44* E *. even re-construction.)4. 5orehole CPT-/ was then plugged between Ianuary 4+ and #ebruary **. the discharge of the $H.0 m some +) m away from the powerhouse 8Pz . " second borehole. Df particular interest is a cluster of three wells which are rather close.e.. &ifferent types of well screen designs were employed. The discharge was estimated to be about 20 liters/s..)* and by .. *(((. The piezometric levels in the "mata formation also decreased by 4 m in Pz . 'n addition.)49 have a very high yield. e uipped with J *2/ mm casing. -ithin the rather impervious morainic soils filling the buried valley. This test was intended to serve as a reference to the soundings that were performed below the powerhouse. This discharge had an effect on the $igh Hield -ells.. These wells 8*4)*.*)*9 and ).*)49. :imilarly. 't reached *. 29. the blowout also affected the left ban! and decreased the piezometric levels.9. another singular point was found unexpectedly some *. had reached @lev. accompanied by large uantities of coarse sand and gravel. The gradients are higher in the clayey silty. *(((. $ence. . CPT-/5. Garious incidents have occurred in the powerhouse foundation. i. These were briefly described by -ieland et al. sampling was no longer possible because the soil was loose with sand and dolomite fragments. They have been termed the $igh Hield -ells 8$H-9. The greatest drop was noticed for the two piezometers with their tip in the <au3a formation. a large number of piezometers are installed below the powerhouse.The discharge of the relief wells varies widely. -4*. the conclusion from this 2 . " blowout of CPT-/ occurred on Ianuary *(.

0 and comprises *0 data loggers with . 1eanwhile. #ig. the response of the wells and piezometers could be monitored in real time by means of an automatic data ac uisition system 8"&":9 whose installation was completed in 4))*. Dut of these.) were selected for replacement by automatic devices. . uantify. initially 2. 'nstrumentation at the Plavinas powerplant now contains more than one thousand measuring points. @xploration hole CPT-/5 was plugged later and two new boring were made and transformed into relief wells.observation was that there must be a connection between all these wells and piezometers and that there must be some short-circuit through some very pervious channels. "n "&": is able to read. 0 . four wor!stations and one server for real time data processing 8Popiels!i et al. Locations of piezometers and relief wells in the downstream area M nit rin$ a" a t & t under"tand the "u1"ur2ace 2& 3 re$ime 'n order to obtain a better insight into the hydraulic connections between the wells and piezometers. The system of data transfer at the Plavinas powerplant is illustrated in #ig. and convert physical information continuously. Particularly. a series of relief tests was carried out with the Lauce wells. sensors for pressure and flow monitoring were given first priority in the incorporation into the "&":.. :uch a system is invaluable in the management of a large number of sensors.4 remote multiplexers and a system of nine computers which includes four ac uisition computers. 4))*9. periodically or on re uest and transmit it to a remote data processing system thus enabling on-line monitoring of relatively rapidly changing sensor values. namely 0/)4 and 0/).

/ to ).. :elected piezometers representing different subsurface strata close to the powerhouse on both the right and left ban!. the total discharge from the $igh Hield -ells decreased by 2. / .+ !m from the monitored sensors. the holes encountered highly pervious entrained material 8gravel and sandstone fragments9 identified as entrained material. &uring the period from :eptember *+ to 4*. 4))*. The wells pass through + to .* m asl with about 4 m in the Train material. -4. -. These reservoir level fluctuations are imprinted on the variation of the well discharges and the piezometric heads.e. the piezometric level dropped by about ).( m. The graphs clearly demonstrate the effects of the discharges at the Lauce wells at a distance of *. liters/s. m 8i. %elieving tests carried out during :eptember ( to 4/. -4) m asl9.0 m asl9 while well 0/). were monitored by the "&":. to @lev. the $igh Hield -ells. sandy loam and loam with inclusions of gravel and roc! fragments.0 and +4 m asl.. elev. The outflow remained closed during the night and wee!ends. -ell 0/)4 penetrates this Train layer by about *. #rom :eptember *+ to 40. and 0) liters/s from well 0/)49. #ig. ends at @lev. and as well the three $igh Hield -ells.. "t a depth of about 0( m 8approx.The ground elevation at the two Lauce wells 80/)4 E 0/). discharged a total of *4) liters/s 8+) liters/s from well 0/).0 to *.9 is around . the boundaries of the buried valley and the axis of the proposed reserve spillway with the stilling basin. followed by some 0) m of morainic material. The bedroc! was not reached in any of these holes. "lso shown in the graphs is the variation of the reservoir water level which varies wee!ly between about +). m asl. #igure / shows the response of the three $igh Hield -ells on the right ban! to the relieving of the two Lauce wells and #ig. which includes the effect of the lower reservoir level. i.e. m of gravel with roc! fragments and sand. + presents the response of piezometers in the 6pper "mata on the left ban!. 2 1ap showing the locations of the Lauce wells...

#ig. . utilities in the ground or drainage facilities in the vicinity of the power plant and as well with settlements in the downstream area or private land plots. 0 Components of the automatic data ac uisition system 8"&":9 H0dr /$e & $ic c ncern" and m nit rin$ " ma3or geologic concern is./s. The location on the right hand emban!ment dam was selected among five other locations because it has the least interference with existing structures. The exact position of the rim of the buried valley is not !nown and will have to be explored by additional borings. The closest investigations in the buried valley were carried out along a section which lies on the left ban! of the present river channel. The ground elevation at the river shore line is about . Dnly the stilling basin at river level is founded on Plavinas dolomite roc!. @xcept for borehole no.. 1ost of the structure is founded on the dense and impervious glacial till 8moraine9. "ll six holes were drilled to reach bedroc!. " sixth borehole. 't is a gated structure with four bays and has a design discharge capacity of about 2))) m. 'ts main purpose is to correct the inade uate flood discharge capacity of the existing spillway to satisfy modern P1# criteria. The ogee crest is at elevation 0. 5$-/.RESERVE SPILL4A. The response of a possible interference with the buried valley during construction or during operation of the spillway must be predictable from the present !nowledge supplemented by additional investigations. F undati n" c nditi n" The reserve spillway is a ma3or component in the overall rehabilitation of the powerplant. at this location the shoreline of the present river bed and the rim of the buried valley almost coincide. which exhibited material similar to + . was drilled next to the shoreline and is about 0)) m from the stilling basin and positioned almost exactly on the extension of the spillway axis. The section contains five boreholes 85$-* to 5$-09.. There are no deep drillholes in the immediate vicinity of the planned reserve spillway.*) m asl. m asl while the top of the bedroc! is at 4+ m asl. that the extension of the spillway axis intersects the buried valley not far from the end of the stilling basin 8see #ig.. The position of the axis of the reserve spillway is indicated in #igs. The purpose for drilling these holes was to find locations with entrained materials below the moraine which would be under high pressure similar to the wells found in the Lauce valley. * and 0. 29. $owever.

5$-2 and 5$-09.e.0 to -*)*.).entrained material within the depth range *.*9./ 8@lev. . -(. there were no traces of entrained material in the other holes 8i.) to *. 5$-4. #ig. 5$-*.+.. + %esponse of piezometers in the 6pper "mata on the left ban! 8in the vicinity of the powerhouse9 to relieving the Lauce wells . / %esponse of the $igh Hield -ells to relieving the Lauce wells #ig.

The top of the "mata formation in this borehole is at @l. i.e. There is a clayey stratum of about . 1ost of the entrained material may be present on the slopes of the buried valley. The investigations in the buried valley have demonstrated that the occurrence of entrained material is not persistent. Dnly when drilling into highly pervious material between the base of the impervious moraine and the roc! with artesian water will this occur. about ( m below the base of the stilling basin. i. The discharge from this borehole amounted to *(. not as high as expectedK the piezometric head was only about 44 m.* m asl9. needed to establish a reliable pressure profile in the area of the stilling basin. L2) m asl. however. in the lower part of the entrained material and partly in the upper range of the 5urtnie!u roc!. -(/. was drilled in 4))0 about 4)) m from the stilling basin of the planned reserve spillway. :ome of the piezometers could then be connected to the "&":.* m 8@lev.e./ liters/s.e. which is below the <au3a formation at a depth reaching from (+. Therefore. The area containing the wells in the Lauce valley exhibited a low resistivity and the water from these wells had a conductivity which was two to three times higher than the bac!ground values. This is the nearest hole in the stilling basin area drilled to "mata level and it is close to the rim of the buried valley.e. which is higher than the tailwater level. not based on geophysical investigations and the purpose of this hole is not clear. until bedroc! was encountered. :till. at least temporarily during the period of construction. This drill location was. it is expected that even if a high pressure zone were encountered during further exploration or during construction wor!. i. however. #urther drillholes are. the piezometric level rises to about @l. but it is conceivable that there are also accumulations at the valley bottom.4+ was about ). 5$-*. The hole was drilled to a depth of *. The pressure was. #rom the relieving tests carried out with the Lauce wells. however./ to **/ m below ground level. " further borehole. borehole 5$-/ was e uipped for conducting relieving tests. $ence. only very few have encountered such conditions. The filter was installed in the depth interval of *** to *4) m. i. precautionary measures are re uired when constructing the stilling basin of the reserve spillway. $igh pressures are expected to exist where the material overlies the <au3a formation or "mata connecting to <au3a through discontinuities.5orehole 5$-/ was drilled on the basis of geophysical investigations 8vertical and symmetric electric profiling and as well gravimetric surveying9.4 1Pa. :uch locations do not seem to be fre uent because inspite of the large number of boreholes drilled in the area. exploration drilling to better define the rim of the buried valley along the extension of the spillway axis may not find such conditions. The pressure encountered in the "mata roc! of borehole 5$-*. Mot all boreholes drilled into the "mata will encounter pressurized water. its impact on the pressures in the foundation of the powerplant would not exceed a decrease in piezometric head of one to two meters. @ntrained material which was under pressure was found between the glacial till and roc!s belonging to the 1iddle &evonian 5urtnie!u formation./0 m asl. These may be hard to detect by geophysical means because of the influence of the slopes on the measurements. prospecting for entrained material zones had to focus on the identification of zones of low resistance. 5orehole 5$-/ is on the right hand slope of the buried valley. m thic!ness separating the Plavinas dolomite from the "mata sandstone.4+. The contractor who installed the new instruments below the powerhouse. @lectric profiling was carried out to a depth of about /0 m which is believed to be the elevation of entrained materials. :ubse uently. *+. also its thic!ness may vary. which re uired drilling through the drainage blan!et used ( .

'n= Dams and Reservoirs. 5arcelona. .(-*4)( 84)). I... "..P.. 4))*9.5erga et al. 5ox *. Hydropower & Dams.ES &islere.9. 7./ 84))*9. %. ". -ieland. Comprehensive site investigation. 1onitoring as a tool of dam safety improvement at Plavinas $PP. installation of piezometers and possibly also relief wells with real-time monitoring by means of an "&": can reduce uncertainties and minimize ris!s related to the hydrologic response to construction activities and to the impact induced by the operation of a new facility.L-SIONS The Plavinas powerplant is located in a complex and uni ue hydro-geological environment.+4. L. #'-)))2. . 6. 5olmanis. **. C$-. 't facilitates the planning of additional investigations and predicting the response of the hydro-geologic regime to construction activities and operational impact. 'f significant changes in the pressure regime below the powerhouse are predicted..0-. ". To ensure the stability of the powerhouse.. changing of the prevailing regime of pore water pressures and uplift pressures must be avoided when rehabilitating the facility or when adding new components to the system. 1. and :ulcs.D. which are able to control pressures up to four bars. :. Dstanievics. :witzerland 6niversity of "pplied :ciences.. Dberseestrasse *). REFEREN. The paper illustrates how field investigations in combination with monitoring can improve the understanding of the subsurface conditions and the ris! involved when a new facility 8in this case a reserve spillway9 is added to the powerplant system. #inland 2 Latvenergo Ioint :toc! Company. eds. 8Popiels!i et al.ON.). :afety evaluation of the Plavinas run of river scheme in Latvia. Transactions 22nd Int. %. no. .../2) %apperswil. Latvia *) ... #ortum Power E $eat Dy. /**/*+. Taylor E #rancis 84))/9. LG-*4. Pul!veza 5rieza :treet *4.. Latvia. Societies and Environment in the 21st Century. Gol. . involving pressurized subsurface strata in its foundation. . &. Popiels!i.&osapro 8or pinch9 valves. :peerli. :witzerland .. and 5olmanis.*./. 1. P. NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN * 4 POyry @nergy Ltd. countermeasures can be invo!ed during the design phase to minimize or preferably avoid adverse situations. 5renner. C$-.) %iga.. Con ress on !ar e Dams. #ortum.+ Purich. 6pgrading the instrumentation system at Plavinas. $ardturmstrasse */*. %ollet. Gol. Gol.