Modeling Earth Systems and Environment

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 159–173 | Cite as

Calibration of seepage analysis sections based on observation well monitoring data: a case study on Darian dam abutments–Kermanshah province, Iran

  • Kamal GanjalipourEmail author
  • Seyed Mahmod Fatemi Aghda
Original Article


Water seepage, after impounding, is among the main problems encountered in dam construction projects. Assessment and prediction of the amount of seepage water can be useful in preventing such incidents. Darian dam has been constructed on Sirvan River in Kermanshah province in west of Iran. This dam, which is currently in impounding state, was built for flooding control and electricity generation purposes. No seepage problem was observed in this dam, but the water level recorded in observation wells in right and left abutments indicated a significant difference with water levels predicted through designing step by numerical analysis using software of SEEP/W. In this study, iso-piezometric map of dam area and its abutments was produced using data obtained from 27 observation wells. Using this map, the actual phreatic line (underground water level) along the seepage analysis sections at design time was extracted. Then, the actual curve of water level was compared with the curve of water level obtained from the SEEP/W. Using the actual curve of underground water and geological features, rock masses in the seepage analysis sections were divided into hydrogeological sub-units. The main objective of the study was to overlap the computed phreatic line and actual underground water level on the basis of observation wells by changing the permeability of the hydrogeological sub-units in the software of SEEP/W, and to compare the permeability of the units relative to each other in real situation and design time. In this regard, in the right abutment, the permeability of all units was expressed as a proportion of permeability of unit Li (k/kli). Similarly, in the left abutment the ratio k/klml was calculated for all units. This relative expression allow calibrating of seepage analysis section by using the data from underground water level, even when the amount of seepage in rock masses is not known.


Observation well Seepage analysis Underground water level Permeability 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Geology, Faculty of Geological ScienceKharazmi UniversityTehranIran

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