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21st Century Dam Design — Advances and Adaptations

31st Annual USSD Conference San Diego, California, April 11-15, 2011

Hosted by Black & Veatch Corporation GEI Consultants, Inc. Kleinfelder, Inc. MWH Americas, Inc. Parsons Water and Infrastructure Inc. URS Corporation

On the Cover
Artist's rendition of San Vicente Dam after completion of the dam raise project to increase local storage and provide a more flexible conveyance system for use during emergencies such as earthquakes that could curtail the region’s imported water supplies. The existing 220-foot-high dam, owned by the City of San Diego, will be raised by 117 feet to increase reservoir storage capacity by 152,000 acre-feet. The project will be the tallest dam raise in the United States and tallest roller compacted concrete dam raise in the world.

U.S. Society on Dams
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Phone (303) 349-4061 1 Safe Grouting Pressures 493 . S. Dakota Ave Suite 230. Institute for Water Resources. Louisville. There is evidence that several cases of possible hydraulic fracturing of the embankment soil has occurred along with signs of embankment deformation. these decisions should be made consciously with respect to the overall safety and stability of the dam. PE.S. work platform Risk Management It is recommended that when grouting through existing dams. Institute for Water Resources. Institute for Water Resources. It is clear that the determination of appropriate grouting pressures is not well understood.schaefer@usace. they were generally developed for new dam construction. Risk Management Center. CO 80228. Phone 720-289-9042 3 Western Division Chief. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dam grouting projects and at dam projects for various other agencies and dam owners over the years. KY 40202. CEG3 ABSTRACT Signs of embankment displacement and hydrofracture have been observed on several recent U. 600 Dr. Schaefer. PE2 Douglas D. It appears that this has occurred due to the strong desire to do the best job grouting without a rigorous Lead Civil Engineer. S. PE. GROUTING PRESSURES FOR DAM REMEDIATION Jeffrey A. The grouting procedures employed at the USACE projects were all following established “rules of thumb” for safe grouting pressures. It is based on estimating the minor effective principle stress in the dam and foundation using basic finite element modeling. PhD. A more rigorous method for determining safe grouting pressures is Dakota Ave Suite 230.a. PG 1 David B. douglas. 12300 W.paul@usace. Paul. Phone 502-315-6452 2 Lead Civil Engineer. CO 80228. 12300 W. Lakewood. Army Corps of Engineers. Lakewood. U. U. Although it may be likely that the pressures required to perform a foundation grouting project may be much higher than the limiting safe grouting pressures. has been employed as the preferred alternative to address potential internal erosion through their foundations.b. the effective grout pressure should stay below the effective minor principle stress for all stages that could have connections to embankment materials or foundation soils. Risk Management Center. U. Although the “rules of thumb” are good starting points.boyer@usace. Upon review of these projects a common issue has arisen that must be addressed. INTRODUCTION On several large USACE dam remediation projects jeffrey. rapid increases in vibrating wire piezometer readings. Army Corps of Engineers. and increased surface crack widening have all been associated with grouting operations (Figures 1 through 5). Army Corps of Engineers. Boyer. and this paper demonstrates why the rules of thumb are not appropriate for grouting through existing dam embankments. Surface grout leaks (when grouting a significant depths below the surface). Martin Luther King Jr.

Grout Leak from Sheetpile Wall Interlocks on a Work Platform 494 21st Century Dam Design — Advances and Adaptations . or the influence of local defects on confining stress. Figure 1. the difficulty to isolate the first few rock stages from the foundation soil may also contribute. variable piezometric conditions.evaluation of the allowable grouting pressures beyond just using the “rules of thumb”. These “rules of thumb” were developed primarily for flat-ground conditions before structures were constructed and do not include post-construction considerations of sloping ground conditions. In some geologic conditions.

Grout Leaks Through Cracks in Work Platform Figure 3.Figure 2. Widening of Construction Joint on Work Platform Slab Safe Grouting Pressures 495 .

Figure 4. Vibrating Wire Piezometer Spikes Measured During Grouting Operations Displacement from Grouting Figure 5. Foundation Displacement Measured by Inclinometer 496 21st Century Dam Design — Advances and Adaptations .

it may lead to damage and embankment deformation. The size. Displacements have the potential to not only damage the rock.MOTIVATION FOR USING HIGH PRESSURES The pressure required to successfully grout potential foundation defects is dependent on the geology and characteristics of the defects that are being treated. Using higher pressures can sometimes provide improvement to the in-filled soils by densification or by reinforcing the weak soil by hydraulic fracturing. An additional margin of safety is afforded by the strength of the rock. the use of high pressures could be a monetary motivation for the contractor. even in rock should be done with caution. This method may have application for foundation grouting prior to the construction of facilities but is not universally accepted for dam remediation. Although using higher pressures seems to be logical for reducing the risk of slurry containment. On projects where grouting has been done to pre-treat the rock foundation ahead of a slurry trench cutoff wall. There is also a philosophy that if you use high pressures to force open joints and defects and then let them squeeze back against the grout it will produce a tighter grout curtain (Weaver. spacing. Below the ground water table the grout must displace the water in the rock defects. There are strong motivations to use high pressures when grouting. Higher pressures can also usually help increase penetration distances. These rules of thumb were developed based on experience. On recent USACE projects. maximum safe grouting pressures have been established as 0. High pressure grouting will result in higher grout takes and longer grouting durations required to meet refusal. If these guidelines are followed. 1984). The weight of the material over the zone being grouted was the primary consideration when developing the rules of thumb (USACE. and character of the joints and defects govern the required grout mix and pressure required to move the grout. 2000). A question that must be addressed when grouting through an existing dam is: Can we meet the objective of the grouting program while safely keeping the induced grouting pressures low enough so as not to cause damage to the embankment? SAFE GROUTING PRESSURE Rules of Thumb “Rules of thumb” have been established for safe grouting pressures in soil and rock. then the pressure applied to the grouting stage will be less than the weight of the overlying materials thus preventing lifting or “heave”. A good summary of the “rules of thumb” is presented by Weaver (2000). the philosophy has been to proof test the foundation by using grouting pressures that are two times the pressure that will be exerted by the open slurry trench. However. Additionally. On one project it has been found that using higher pressures has helped stabilize borings where hole collapse was an issue when downstaging. factors such Safe Grouting Pressures 497 .5 psi/ft for the overburden soil thickness and 1 psi/ft for depth into rock. but also compromise the grout that has previously been placed. The use of high pressure.

5 to 2. and defect connections to the soil were not considered. It was interesting that several cases were found where the designers were aware of potential to damage the foundation and took precautions to limit the pressures applied to the dam foundation soils. 498 21st Century Dam Design — Advances and Adaptations . Libby. Heron Dam. et al. The Wolf Creek phase III 1974-75 remedial grouting program was performed using gravity grouting only. The grouting pressures ranged from 0. The remedial grouting work for East Branch Dam was also done using pressures limited to 30 psi in order to avoid fracturing the embankment (USACE. Hoover. Hungry Horse) (Albritton. Allatoona. Heron. On other projects. especially when grouting through existing embankment dams where defects in the rock are connected to the foundation soils. Mississinewa. nipple. Efaula. of depth to the packer. et al. gravity grouting is usually recommended. Hop Brook. Albritton. On some projects the guidelines were interpreted to be the required pressure rather than the maximum. He also indicates that the objective is to apply enough pressure to make the grout flow into the rock voids without displacing the rock or creating new voids in the rock. Bush Dam in Pennsylvania in the 60’s and 70’s was primarily done using gravity grouting. East Branch.0 psi/ft of depth. 1986) indicates that these “rules of thumb” have not been applied consistently and were often misunderstood. or standpipe. Using rules of thumb can be dangerous. An overflow standpipe or pressure relief valve is frequently used to keep from over pressurizing the foundation. Remedial grouting for Alvin R. Laurel. Wolf Creek. Morrow Point. Hartwell. possible causes of lower in situ ground stresses. Thus. Pressure relief valves are not as reliable as the standpipe. Clarence Cannon. Fetzer (1986) discusses three dams where blocks of rock were lifted during the grout curtain installation during construction of the original dams: Morrow Point Dam. the grouting pressures to be used for the placement of the high mobility grouts were limited to 1 psi per foot of depth at the point of injection. 1957). Kortes. Oologah. the pressure due to the column of grout was to be subtracted from the allowable pressure at the point of injection. 1984) (Fetzer. only the gauge pressure at the top of the hole was used with no regard for the additional pressure from the static head of the grout column. Alvin Bush. 2002). Dworshak. Norfolk. In order to determine the allowable gauge pressure. it appears that the literature documents a long history of concerns which should warn designers to use detailed information to determine safe pressures rather than simplistic “rules of thumb”. A review of numerous past grouting projects performed by the U S Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation (Patoka. For the remedial grouting of Mississinewa Dam (USACE. (1984) state that where grouting is done in the upper zone from the surface. Another method of limiting pressure is to inject grout into a funnel at the top of the grout hole. Fetzer performed an analysis on Hungry Horse Dam comparing the effective uplift pressure from the grout to the effective vertical load. Flaming Gorge. He concluded that the rules of thumb such as 1 lb/in2 per ft. John the depth to the water table. Longview. Abiquiu. sloping ground conditions. and Pipestem Dam. are not a reliable guide to safe pressures.

This will reduce the risk of hydraulic fracture and displacement of the dam foundation. Sherard (1985) presents a good discussion on the special considerations for low stress zones that contribute to hydraulic fracturing. states that “From a practical standpoint. This was supported by a study by Alfaro and Wong (2001) where the various theories were investigated and compared to laboratory testing. Sherard in his 1973 paper. that is. zones around conduits. Proposed Criteria for Maximum Allowable Grouting Pressures The reserve tensile strength in soils will be minor and it is safe to assume that the tensile strength is negligible and should not be included when establishing the maximum allowable grouting pressure. (1994) was based on the general principle that hydraulic fracturing can occur when the grout pressure exceeds the minor principle stress plus the tensile strength of the soil. when Ko is near 1. zones next to concrete structures where shear transfer results in lower stresses. Sherard et al. zones next to steep abutments with possible overhangs. Another important finding from their study and a study by Chang (2004) determined that fractures will tend to propagate in a path perpendicular to the plane of minor principle stress.0. It is proposed that for grout stages at the soil-rock interface (and stages where defects have connection to the soil foundation).Hydraulic Fracture Several mechanisms for hydraulic fracture in soils have been proposed by different researchers. etc..” Additional background on hydraulic fracturing can be found in Sherard (1970). The tensile strength approach best approximated laboratory tests for hydraulic fracture. Therefore hydraulic fracturing can occur even though the total minor principal stress is compressive. and Bjerrum et al. (1972). Embankment Dam Cracking.e. For geologic conditions where joints and fractures are expected to be connected to the foundation soil. Safe Grouting Pressures 499 . the limiting grout pressure in the rock should be based on the limiting pressure of the soil at the rock/soil interface. i. the effective grout pressure should not exceed the effective minor principle stress. (1972). However. Sherard (1986). Once these conditions are assessed a rational limiting grout pressure can be determined using an appropriate factor of safety. when there is not a large stress difference. Effective Grout Pressure < σ’3 Conditions for Low Stress Zones Factors that could lead to the presence of possible lower stress zones than normal. if the total stress on the plan is equal or less than the water (provided the soil cannot withstand tensile stress). there will be multiple fractures in multiple directions. These could be soil slots and rock pinnacles in the foundation that create low stress zones. should be considered. a crack may be caused to open on a given plane if the effective stress acting on the plane goes to zero. The approach taken by Anderson et al.

In many cases the grouting is done on the work platform that is constructed off of the crest of the dam over one of the slopes. A linear elastic soil strength model can be used. This is well below the vertical stress but exceeds the horizontal stress by 950 psf (6.8 psi) and the horizontal stress is 6250 psf (43.6 psi). 200 175 150 125 Total Vertical Stress = Effective Vertical Stress Flat Ground Unit Wt. flat ground conditions do not exist. thick with no groundwater.5 psi per foot rule to the soil will give us a safe grouting pressure of 50 psi.335 Ko=0.4 psi).5 Elevation 100 2000 75 50 25 0 -25 -50 0 25 50 75 10000 4000 6000 8000 12000 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500 525 550 575 600 625 650 675 700 725 750 Distance Total Horizontal Stress = Effective Horizontal Stress Flat Ground Unit Wt. It is not likely that the soil has a tensile strength greater than 950 psf.335 Ko=0.500 psf (86. Stresses in a Flat Ground Soil Deposit When grouting below an existing embankment dam.Evaluation of the Rule of Thumb Are the “rules of thumb” appropriate for grouting under embankments? Figure 6 shows the vertical and horizontal stresses calculated for a flat soil profile 100 ft.5 the vertical stress at the top of rock is 12. Applying the 0. In sloping surface conditions the confining stresses will be significantly lower than flat ground.= 125 pcf Poissons Ratio = 0. The unit weight of the materials along with an estimate of the Poisson’s ratio and ground 500 21st Century Dam Design — Advances and Adaptations . Assuming a unit weight of 125 pcf and a Ko of 0.5 200 175 150 125 Elevation 100 1000 75 50 25 0 -25 -50 0 25 50 75 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500 525 550 575 600 625 650 675 700 725 750 Distance Figure 6. With modern numerical analysis tools we can develop a relatively simple model to estimate the static stresses in an embankment dam. The confining stresses cannot be estimated by typical calculations using the depth to the zone of concern.= 125 pcf Poissons Ratio = 0.

consolidation tests can be performed to estimate Ko or self-boring pressuremeter tests can be used to measure the lateral stress. An evaluation of project piezometers or a separate seepage analysis can be used to establish the pore water pressures. The range can then be considered when establishing the safe effective grouting pressure limits. See McCook and Grotrian (2010) for procedures for more rigorous modeling for hydraulic fracture. The minimum effective stress contours are recommended for establishing the limiting effective grout pressures. For large embankments it can be assumed that the soil will behave as normally consolidated and the Jaky’s equation of 1-Sin φ’ can be used to approximate Ko. horizontal (σ’h). Poisson’s ratio is used in the model to determine the ratio of horizontal to vertical stress (Ko). horizontal. Figure 7 shows the vertical (σ’v). Safe Grouting Pressures 501 . Once the model is constructed. it is loaded with a self-weight (gravity) and stresses are calculated. The Poisson’s ratio can be adjusted to obtain the desired value of Ko. More detailed evaluation can be done using multistage sequence modeling and more rigorous material models. and minimum effective stress (σ’3) contours for a typical dam. This analysis will provide an approximate estimate of the stresses in the dam and foundation.water conditions are the primary variables required. Contour plots of the total or effective vertical. Multiple simplified runs can be performed parametrically varying the input parameters to estimate the range of stress. If needed. or minimum stresses can be developed. These were generated using SIGMA/W from GeoSlope.

5 Elevation 100 75 50 25 3500 1500 0 -25 -50 0 25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500 525 550 575 600 625 650 675 700 725 750 Distance Figure 7.335 Ko=0.335 Ko=0. Contour Plots for σ’v .= 125 pcf Poissons Ratio = 0.Effective Vertical Stress 200 175 150 125 Unit Wt. σ’3 502 21st Century Dam Design — Advances and Adaptations .5 Elevation 100 75 50 25 3500 1500 0 -25 -50 0 25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500 525 550 575 600 625 650 675 700 725 750 Distance Minimum Effective Stress 200 175 150 125 Unit Wt.= 125 pcf Poissons Ratio = 0.= 125 pcf Poissons Ratio = 0. σ’h.5 Elevation 100 2000 75 50 25 0 -25 -50 0 25 50 75 4000 6000 8000 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500 525 550 575 600 625 650 675 700 725 750 Distance Effective Horizontal Stress 200 175 150 125 Unit Wt.335 Ko=0.

The minimum effective stress (minor principle stress) at the rock interface is 3245 psf or 22. horizontal stress. the vertical stress.1 -1 3245.335 Ko=0.84 Effective Shear Stress (psf) (x 1000) 1 3259. The bench is at an elevation of 96 ft above the rock. Effective Stresses at Location of Interest In the dam section evaluated in the above figure. This is shown on Figure 8 below.9 225.SIGMA/W has a nice feature that will show the Mohr’s circle. 2 Effective Stress at Node 1220 6838. and shear stresses.5 Elevation 100 75 50 25 3500 1500 0 -25 -50 0 25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500 525 550 575 600 625 650 675 700 725 750 Distance Figure 8.= 125 pcf Poissons Ratio = 0. the bench on the upstream slope is typical of the grouting platform used for embankment dams. along with the major and minor principle stresses for any node on the finite element mesh. The “rule of thumb” safe grouting pressure would be 48 psi at the rock-soil interface.5 psi. When grouting the rock below the embankment. Assuming the top of a grout stage 50 feet below the top of rock.2 -2 3 4 5 6 7 Effective Normal Stress (psf) (x 1000) Minimum Effective Stress 200 175 150 125 Unit Wt. the allowable grout Safe Grouting Pressures 503 . The “rule of thumb” pressure is more than double the minimum effective stress.4 sy 0 sx 6853. the allowable grout pressure using “rules of thumb” is typically increased to 1 psi per ft in the rock.

The overburden and rock were carefully excavated and the grout locations documented. 50 feet of limestone. In the area where this grout seam was found.638 cubic feet of grout was placed. 1979). then the pressure will be transmitted up to the base of the dam. and no limestone near the valley. This provided an opportunity to visually examine the effectiveness of the grouting. Where no pressure could be measured. If the stage being grouted is connected to a vertical joint or defect that is open to the base of the embankment.pressure is 98 psi. Grout mixes generally started at a 2:1 water cement ratio and were thickened to 0. Instead of attempting more grouting. Grouting was discontinued for one shift then resumed with a sanded grout mix. a triple-line grout curtain was installed in the left abutment of the dike (USACE. Grouting was performed in two zones. During construction of the Patoka Lake project. diminish to 5 psi or less. Although there will be some friction losses associated with pushing the grout up to the base of the dam. hold for a short period. 504 21st Century Dam Design — Advances and Adaptations . and then rebuild. Zone 2 treated the limestone and was grouted using 15 psi of pressure. a decision was reached to excavate the sandstone and limestone layers from the abutment and install a cutoff trench. A total of 69. The effective grout pressure would have been approximately 45 psi while the effective horizontal stress at the soil rock interface would have only been around 20 psi. Closure was not obtained even using split spaced holes down to 1. The purpose of the grout curtain was to treat a jointed sandstone layer and a solutioned limestone layer under the sandstone. Zone 1 treated the sandstone and was grouted using 10 psi of pressure. the pressures will still significantly exceed the minimum effective stress and may even well exceed the vertical effective stress of 46 psi.5-foot centers.6:1 in 30 cubic ft increments.ft in some locations. Geologic conditions turned out to be much worse than anticipated and the grouting was deemed unsuccessful. 20 feet of sandstone. is indicative of hydrofracture. and 50 feet of sandstone at the top of the abutment tapering to 60 feet of overburden. The profile had approximately 2 feet of overburden. the behavior during the grouting where the gauge pressure would build to 10 psi. pumping was continued until 150 cubic feet of grout was placed.6. A major grout seam was found (Figure 9) in the overburden soil that was as wide as 0.

Hydrofracture found in Excavation of Patoka Dike Abutment A recent excavation in an embankment dam on a USACE project has revealed examples of both horizontal and vertical hydrofractures in the soil (Figure 10 and 11) . Figure 10. Horizontal Hydrofracture Safe Grouting Pressures 505 . These were the result of previous grouting project that apparently allowed effective pressures that were too high in rock grouting stages that were exposed to the soil.Figure 9.

Figure 11. Vertical Hydrofracture 506 21st Century Dam Design — Advances and Adaptations .

Each grouting setup needs to be evaluated to determine the appropriate factors to consider. For the conditions shown in Figure 12 the effective grouting pressure would be: Peff= Gauge Pressure + Gauge Head + Static Head . Figure 10 is a diagram showing some of important features to consider when making the calculations. the vertical distance between the top of the grout stage and the top of the grout hole needs to be used rather than the depth down the hole to calculate the static grout head. and there is no grout flow (USBR. The pressure losses in the between the gauge and the grout head and grout pipe are a function of the pumping rate. In practice there is a gauge between the grout pump and the grout head which measures the line pressure. The location of the pressure gauge often varies with some applications. The pressure from the weight of the grout column is a function of the unit weight of the grout mix and the hole orientation.EFFECTIVE GROUT PRESSURE Calculation of Effective Pressure It is important to understand what pressures are being applied to the ground in each stage. the dynamic pressure losses in the vertical grout pipe. To determine the pressure at the end of the grout pipe for the stage under consideration a calculation must be performed. they do recognize the need to calculate the grouting pressure at the stage location with consideration for the groundwater conditions. and grout mix viscosity. particularly when refusal is reached.Dynamic Losses Safe Grouting Pressures 507 . pumping rates. stage depths.Groundwater Head . pipe length. 1984). Although the Bureau of Reclamation’s Policy Statements for Grouting (1984) do not address the maximum allowable effective grouting pressure. With so many variables and parameters involved there is a high level of uncertainty in the actual effective grout pressure being exerted in the ground. grout mixes. For example. The subtraction of the dynamic losses is questionable and may be unconservative since there will always be times when the pumping is stopped in the grouting process. the pressure increase from the weight of the grout below the gauge and an estimate of the water pressure at the bottom of the pipe. It is common for the pressure to be monitored at the pump for Low Mobility Grouting. A suite of calculations is required to account for variation of the water table. There will be variation in the pressure depending on the location within the stage selected for calculation. This calculation requires an estimate of the dynamic pressure losses in the line from the gauge to the grout head. and grout pipe lengths expected to be used on a project. Calculations of effective pressure need to be comprehensive. This is not the grout pressure measured at the top of the grout hole (gauge pressure). when grouting angled holes.

it is recommended that the grout pressure be measured for all grouting operations for existing dams. The sensor was installed through the grout pipe and lowered a few feet below the packer. This instrument consisted of a relatively simple pneumatic piezometer. it should be viable to install a small transducer like a vibrating wire piezometer in the bottom of a grouting packer that can be used to measure the pressure at the top of a grout stage in real time. (USACE. 2003) to electronically measure and record many other grouting parameters. The instrument can measure the actual water pressure before grouting and the actual increase in pressure during the grouting process. With modern instrumentation systems already in place (Dreese. It would allow for greater control 508 21st Century Dam Design — Advances and Adaptations . This measurement will greatly reduce the uncertainty in the calculation of the actual effective grout pressures. The objective at the time was to develop a grout pressure sensor that required no electronic or moving parts. A down-hole grout injection pressure gauge was developed and tested for the USBR in 1982 by EarthTech Research Corporation under the direction of Glenn Smoak and Pete Aberle (USBR 1995). et.Figure 12. Diagram for Estimating Effective Grout 2009) Measurement of Effective Grout Pressure Considering the uncertainty in the effective grout pressure calculations and the importance of this parameter.

This includes: grouting the annulus of the permanent casing. The relationship of the grout take to the effective pressure should be considered when evaluating closure of grout curtains. Recording the pressure at the point of application throughout the grouting process can also be used for quality control and closure analysis. Installing the casing deeper in the rock creates another issue where the interface zone where the soil transitions to rock would not be treated. The problem arises when working in an environment s where there is no distinct transition from soil to rock. washing a boring prior to grouting and water pressure testing. On many dam safety projects this interface zone is the primary area to mitigate erosion of soil into the rock. The defects to be treated are normally connected to the overlying soil. helping to prevent unwanted damage to dam foundations. The US Army Corps of Engineers is strongly considering the requirement to monitor the grouting pressure at the point of injections for all future dam safety grouting projects. When designing a grout program one must also consider other operations that apply pressure to the embankment that can possibly cause damage to the dam. An evaluation of the effective grout pressure and effective horizontal stress revealed the grout pressure was almost double the effective minor principle stress. After a short period of time the grout column fell. The annulus between the riser pipe and boring wall were tremie grouted to the surface. this issue is mitigated by installing a permanent casing into the rock and sealing the annulus with grout. Application Issues If one could successfully isolate the rock from the soil and then grout the rock without exposing the overlying soil to the pressures. In practice. which is the case on most dam remediation projects. On another project it was reported that when grouting in the grout casings the grout never returned to the surface. Water pressure tests should be limited to pressures that do not exceed the expected pressure imposed by maximum water surface elevation of the reservoir. significant grout losses were noted in the impervious section of the core. The importance of this is discussed by Lombardi and Deere (1993) and is the basis for their method of using the Grouting Intensity Number (GIN) method for design and control of grout curtains. rock drilling with water. These activities need to be evaluated to determine the allowable pressures that can be permitted. Grouting a stage 50 feet below the top of rock and encountering an open vertical joint would transmit grout (and pressure) to the foundation soil. During the installation of new piezometers in the East Branch Dam. then there would not be such a significant concern. It has been found to only be partially effective since there are normally many pathways back to the soil for the grout to travel. Was the grout going into voids or was hydrofracturing of the soil causing the grout loss? Safe Grouting Pressures 509 . Higher grout pressures could be used and limits set based on the potential to jack open rock fractures. This zone is typically the most weathered and fractured and in need of the most treatment.of the grouting pressure and real time monitoring.

overhangs. Using grouting pressures that are above the effective stress in the soils may result in excessive grout takes well beyond what is needed to meet the objective of the grouting. Perform numerical analysis to estimate effective minor principle stress profiles for each characteristic cross section along the dam profile for the proposed grout curtain alignment.3 or more may be appropriate. concrete dam contacts. Additional numerical analysis may be needed to determine the minor principle stress due to the effects of these local features. Determine if there are any local features that will cause low stress zones that are not considered in the typical sections such as: irregular rock surfaces. It may be determined that grouting is not feasible or that some level of damage could be acceptable. will the fracture be filled with grout and be sealed? Below the water table it is possible for the fracture to be filled or partially filled with water rather than grout. residual strength zones. Establish the maximum allowable grouting pressures by using the estimated effective minor principle stress values and reducing it by an appropriate factor of safety. conduits. what displacements are acceptable? Will displacement cause cracking. • • • • 510 21st Century Dam Design — Advances and Adaptations . A monitoring and response program can be developed before construction to maintain the overall safety and stability of the dam. pinnacles and slots. Summary of Proposed Procedure for Establishing Safe Grouting Pressures The following method is proposed based on the points made in this paper: • • • Investigate geology to determine the character and 3D geometry of the rock defects to be grouted. etc. High takes near soil-rock interface zones can be misinterpreted as grouting of voids when in reality the takes may be the result of hydrofracturing the soils. differential settlement. steep abutments. Perform calculations to estimate the maximum allowable grout pressures for the proposed grout mixes to determine the limiting gauge pressures. Based on the continuity of the rock defects determine appropriate zones for limiting grout pressures. At each cross-section the various pool and piezometric conditions expected during construction should be modeled. By performing the proposed analysis the design team can consciously determine if the benefits of the grouting outweigh the risk of damage. A conscience decision must be made during the design on the viability of performing an effective grouting job that does not cause damage to the embankment or foundation. A reduction on the order of 1.Implications of Damage If grouting will cause displacements. or damage to critical features? How will the displacement affect long term performance? If hydrofracturing occurs.

T.. October 1984. and Cockburn. sequencing. L..B. The use of “rule of thumb” guidelines is not appropriate for critical structures such as embankment dams where a more detailed understanding of the safe pressures is warranted. Other related activities such as: grouting the annulus of the permanent casing. The designers of grout curtains must consider the effective stresses in the dam foundation when establishing safe grouting pressures for the soil rock interface and the initial rock stages that may be connected to the embankment/foundation soil. L. R. & Gibson. and pressures to minimize the potential for damage to embankment dam foundation soils and have a plan to mitigate the damage if it cannot be avoided.. C.. J. Canadian Geotechnical Journal. J.CONCLUSIONS • • The blind use of “rule of thumb” guidelines for safe grouting pressures can lead to unwanted displacement or damage to embankment dams. Alfaro. 38. US Army Corps of Engineers. Designers must make informed decisions related to the staging.C. “Hydraulic Fracturing in Field Permeablity Testing”.K. Canadian Geotechnical Journal. Kennard. 31.G.. T. R. 22. D. 1994. 817-828.. C. and Bangert. REFERENCES Albritton.H. Wilson. “Hydraulic Fracturing in Particulate Materials”. Lunne. J.. “Foundation Grouting Practices at Corps of Engineers Dams”.M. casing.. T. Dreese. L. Chang. and By.. • • • • • • Safe Grouting Pressures 511 . There is a need to develop a robust system to measure the actual grouting pressures at the point of application for work through existing dams. washing a boring prior to grouting and water pressure testing need to be evaluated to determine safe pressures to prevent hydrofracture. 319-32. Doctoral Thesis. D. Geotechnique. Grouting and Ground Treatment.. H.H. “Estimation of hydraulic fracture pressure in clay”. Georgia Institute of Technology.L. rock drilling with water. 2003.M. 1972..E. Jackson. Heenan. Proceedings of 3rd International Specialty Conference on Grouting and Ground Treatment. November 2004.. K. 303-315. Nash. Rawlings. Andersen. K. Basic finite element analysis using SIGMA/W or similar numerical analysis software can provide insight to the expected stresses in the embankment and foundation soils.. T. Bjerrum. R. M. 2001.. and Wong..A. Technical Report GL-84-13. “Laboratory studies of fracturing of low-permeability soils”. Currently numerous calculations with significant uncertainty are required to estimate the effective grouting pressure at a given location in a grout stage. “State of the art in computer monitoring and analysis of grouting”.

563-590. East Branch Dam”. “Foundation Completion Report Patoka Lake Dam. US Army Corps of Engineers “EM 1110-2-3506. N. “A Critical Look at Use of “Rules of Thumb” for Selection of Grout Injection Pressures.. McCook. Analysis of Grouting Effectiveness and Distribution as Observed During Excavation. “Embankment Dam Cracking.aspx?ISBN10=0784405166 Advances in Grouting and Ground Modification (GSP 104). Sherard.. US Bureau of Reclamation. July 1979. pp.. REC-ERC86-3. 1957. Part I. 272-353. No. D.O. 512 21st Century Dam Design — Advances and Adaptations . 1.S. K. Vol. Decker. Clarion Pennsylvania. Proceedings of Sessions of GeoDenver 2000. Proceedings: Dam Safety. Grouting Technology”. US Army Corps of Engineers. G. “Using SIGMA/W to Predict Hydraulic Fracture in an Earthen Embankment”. Sherard. “Loss of water in boreholes in Impervious Embankment Sections”. 1984. “Final Report. ASDSO. D. John Wiley and Sons. 1973. James L. Proceedings. J. 10th ICOLD Congress. “Hydraulic Fracturing in Embankment Dams.. June 1993. “Policy Statements for Grouting”. Bureau of Reclamation. and Deere. Appendix E.L.pp. 1984. “Analysis of the Bureau of Reclamation’s use of grout and grout curtainsSummary.. 1986. “A Summary Report of The Foundation Grouting Research Program”.L. K. October.Y. Grouting Technology”. 1970.” http://www. 2002. New York. 377-381. S. ACER Technical Memorandum No.” Embankment Dam Engineering. N. Eds. C. “Hydraulic Fracturing in Low Dams of Dispersive Clay.K.L. Emergency Work. US Bureau of Reclamation. September 2010.. pp. “Grouting design and control using the GIN principle”. Poulos and R.D.” Proceedings of the Specialty Conference on Performance of Earth and Earth-Supported Structures.. International Water Power & Dam Construction. 1972. March 1995. J. Montreal. 5. “Grouting Specifications”. 10. US Army Corps of Engineers. Hirschfeld. June.. US Army Corps of Engineers.L. 905-927. J.” ASCE Journal of Geotechnical Engineering. and Grotrian.A. Modification to Contract for Mississinewa Dam Remediation. Sherard.. United States Department of the Interior.asce. US Army Corps of Engineers “Draft EM Weaver.. VI. February 1986. and Ryker. Vol. Volume 112.. Lombardi. R. 30 March 2009. Indiana”. ASCE.Fetzer. Sherard.