Computer Simulation of Cracking in a Large Arch Dam Downstream Side Cracking

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Abstract

The history of downstream side cracking of Kölnbrein dam and theories attempting to explain it are described. The stability, trajectory, and opening of the downstream crack are computed and favorably compared to observations. The significant implication of this study is that classical fracture mechanics theory, implemented through modern computer simulation techniques, can be used to explain cracking events in concrete arch dams. This capability can prove valuable in designing against such events, or in specifying effective repair procedures.