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Analysis of the Abutment Movements of High Arch Dams due to Reservoir Impoundment

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The deformation of mountains induced by reservoirs around high arch dams may influence the safety of those arch dams, but the underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon have not yet been elucidated. The abutment movements of the Jinping-I and Xiluodu arch dams during reservoir impoundment are analyzed systematically in this paper, and the analysis reveals that impoundment led to basin irreversible uplifts. The underlying mechanisms are analyzed from the viewpoint of the constitutive relation of rock mechanics. Based on the theories of poroelasticity and poroplasticity, the effective stress principle of rock is deduced considering the effect of high pore pressure. The modified nonlinear finite element program TFINE is used to simulate the abutment movements of the Jinping-I arch dam, and the calculated values are in accordance with the measured values, verifying the validity of the revised effective stress principle.

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Gas pressure

u w :

Liquid pressure

\( \chi \) :

Effective stress coefficient for solid–liquid–gas three-phase mixture

\( \varvec{\sigma}^{e\prime } \) :

Effective stress of poroelasticity

\( \varvec{\sigma}^{p\prime } \) :

Effective stress of poroplasticity

\( \varvec{\sigma^{\prime\prime}} \) :

Effective stress of rock mass

\( \phi \) :

Porosity of the solid skeleton

\( \phi_{0} \) :

Primary porosity

K :

Bulk modulus of frame

K s :

Bulk modulus of solid

f :

Seepage force

b :

Body force

p :

Pore pressure

\( \tau_{\text{crit}} \) :

Critical shear strength

μ :

Friction coefficient

\( \varvec{\delta} \) :

Kronecker delta

\( \varvec{\sigma} \) :

Total stress

\( \varvec{\sigma^{\prime}} \) :

Terzaghi’s Effective stress

α :

Effective stress coefficient for poroelasticity

θ :

Effective stress coefficient for poroplasticity

η :

Effective stress coefficient for rock mass

\( \phi^{p} \) :

Plastic porosity

τ 0 :

Initial shear stress

ϵ p :

Plastic volume strain of skeleton

\( \varvec{\varepsilon}^{p} \) :

Plastic strain

W p :

Plastic work

h :

Water head

γ w :

Bulk density of water

σ n :

Normal stress


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This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Project No. 51739006 and the State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Hydraulic Engineering under Grant No. 2019-KY-03. The authors wish to express special thanks for the monitoring data provided by PowerChina Chengdu Engineering Corporation.

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Correspondence to Yaoru Liu.

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Wang, S., Liu, Y., Yang, Q. et al. Analysis of the Abutment Movements of High Arch Dams due to Reservoir Impoundment. Rock Mech Rock Eng (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00603-020-02059-6

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  • Abutment movements
  • High arch dam
  • Impounding
  • Valley width reduction
  • Effective stress principle