Destruction of dams in connection with spillway discharges
- 35 Downloads
Despite the intuitively determined high danger which dams pose, long-time operating practice of a large number (about 33,000) of dams with a height of more than 15 m constructed by almost all countries of the world attests to their high reliability. The average annual number of victims in the entire world in connection with destruction or damage of these structures is 133 persons. The number of victims in mining coal equivalent in energy to its amount generated at a hydroelectric station is about 20 times higher, and in the case of energy consumption in motor transport, for example, 1000 times higher.
During the long period of operating concrete dams by all countries of the world, an insignificant number of cases of their failure in connection with operation of spillways has been recorded. Spillway damages and scouring of the channel in the lower pool develop over the course of a rather long time and, as a rule, it is possible to conduct repair works eliminating the danger of destruction of the entire dam.
The greatest (about 44%) number of failures of structures with high earth dams is related to the operation of spillways. As a rule, in this case the development of even insignificant damage of the dam cannot be prevented and within a short time interval partial or even almost complete destruction of the dam occurs.This should be taken into account when examining the problem of increasing the reliability of hydro developments with earth dams to the level characteristic on average for concrete dams or higher.
The main cause of failure of earth dams in connection with operation of spillways is their insufficient capacity. A number of countries, including the USA, have decided it is necessary to periodically check the sufficiency of the capacity of spillways of operating objects and are carrying out this work. When planning hydro developments it is necessary to examine the problem of the possibility of brief overtopping of the dam as a result of the formation of a breakthrough wave or collapse of an unstable mass into the reservoir if such an event is probable.High requirements should be imposed on the reliability of the main gates of spillways. In a number of cases a backup system is used, which provides operation of these gates.
KeywordsLower Pool Hydroelectric Station Average Annual Number Hydro Development Design Discharge
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.L. A. Dusch and P. E. Chairman, “Dam safety: high interest but,” Construction, No. 4, 14, 46 (1984)Google Scholar
- 2.“Statistics of dam incidents and their causes,” Gidroénergetika, No. 41 (1978).Google Scholar
- 3.Yu. P. Lyapichev, “Dam failures and their causes,” in: River Hydraulics and Hydraulic Engineering [in Russian], Moscow (1980).Google Scholar
- 4.I. P. Druzhinin, “A flooded hectare and human life or what we pay for electricity (the social effect of hydropower),” Énerg. Stroit., No. 1 (1989).Google Scholar
- 5.M. K. Tolba, “A global ecological review,” Khimiya i Zhizn’, No. 6 (1993).Google Scholar
- 6.A. de Silveira, “Some considerations on the durability of dams,” International Water Power and Dam Construction,42, No. 2 (1990).Google Scholar
- 7.C. S. Adams, “Speedy repairs save Waco dam spillway,” Engineering News-Record,138, No. 12 (1947).Google Scholar
- 8.“Incident at the Vaiont hydro development,” Gidrotekh. Stroit., No. 5 (1964).Google Scholar
- 9.“Floods overtop breach Indian earthfill,” Engng News-Rec.,203, No. 3 (1979).Google Scholar
- 10.D. L. Sokolovskii, River Runoff [in Russian], GIMMIZ (1968).Google Scholar
- 11.“Destruction of the Zerbino dam”, Gidrotekh. Stroit., No. 11, (1935); No. 2 (1936).Google Scholar
- 12.Ts. E. Mirtskhulava, Reliability of Reclamation Structures [in Russian], Kolos, Moscow (1974).Google Scholar
- 14.P. Garter, “The upgrading of dams in New South Wales,” International Water and Dam Construction,42, No. 5. (1990).Google Scholar
- 14.J. G. Dussalt, “L'etude du comportement des ondes de barrage,” in: Transactions of the Fourteenth International Congress on Large Dams, Vol. 1, R. 12 (1982).Google Scholar