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Title: Hydromechanical analysis for the safety assessment of a gravity dam
Authors: Braga Farinha, M. L.
Bretas, E. M.
Lemos, J. V.
Keywords: Concrete dams;Rock foundations;Hydromechanical behavior;Water pressures;Stability analysis
Issue Date: Apr-2012
Publisher: United States Society on Dams
Abstract: This paper presents a study on seepage in a gravity dam foundation carried out with a view to evaluating dam stability for the failure scenario of sliding along the dam/foundation interface. A discontinuous model of the dam foundation was developed, using the code UDEC, and a fully coupled mechanical-hydraulic analysis of the water flow through the rock mass discontinuities was carried out. The model was calibrated taking into account recorded data. Results of the coupled hydromechanical model were compared with those obtained assuming either that the joint hydraulic aperture remains constant or that the drainage system is clogged. Water pressures along the dam/foundation interface obtained with UDEC were compared with those obtained using the code DEC-DAM, specifically developed for dam analysis, which is also based on the Discrete Element Method but in which flow is modelled in a different way. Results confirm that traditional analysis methods, currently prescribed in various guidelines for dam design, may either underestimate or overestimate the value of uplift pressures. The method of strength reduction was used to estimate the stability of the dam/foundation system for different failure scenarios and the results were compared with those obtained using the simplified limit equilibrium approach. The relevance of using discontinuum models for the safety assessment of concrete dams is highlighted.
Appears in Collections:DBB/NO - Comunicações a congressos e artigos de revista

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