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A unified-plot approach for the assessment of internal erosion in embankment dams
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8739-2219
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, ISSN 1938-6362, E-ISSN 1939-7879, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 66-80Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Surpassed only by overtopping as the larger contributor to the failure of embankment dams, internal erosion occurs when fine-grained particles are allowed to erode by the action of seepage. A dam may be susceptible to internal erosion if there are erodible surfaces not protected by filters. Signs of internal erosion of dams may be sinkhole formations, increased seepage and muddy discharge. Most methods to assess potential susceptibility are empirically based with little or no comparison to field experience. Based on a database of 80 embankment dams that includes 23 dams reported to have experienced some form of internal erosion and exhibited signs of internal erosion, analysis indicates a correlation between dams with internal erosion and characteristics of the filter of a dam. From comparison to field experience, an approach to assessing existing dams and internal erosion is proposed in this paper by combining attributes of filter gradation in a unified plot, namely its internal stability and its capacity for soil retention. The unified plot may serve as a preliminary screening tool for the susceptibility of internal erosion of dams.

Abstract [en]

Surpassed only by overtopping as the larger contributor to the failure of embankment dams, internal erosion occurs when fine-grained particles are allowed to erode by the action of seepage. A dam may be susceptible to internal erosion if there are erodible surfaces not protected by filters. Most methods to assess potential susceptibility are empirically based with little or no comparison to field experience. Based on a database of 80 embankment dams that includes 23 dams reported to have experienced some form of internal erosion, analysis shows a correlation between deficiencies attributed to internal erosion with the potential for internal instability and the capacity of the filter for soil retention. From comparison to field experience, an approach to assess existing dams and internal erosion is proposed by combining these two attributes of filter gradation in a unified plot. The finding implies that a unified plot may serve as a preliminary screening tool in engineering practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 10, no 1, p. 66-80
National Category
Geotechnical Engineering
Research subject
Soil Mechanics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-6441DOI: 10.1179/1939787915Y.0000000002ISI: 000371793100009Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84961806553Local ID: 4aa8c9e2-3488-4402-98b3-b332bfec1fd2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-6441DiVA, id: diva2:979326
Note
Validerad; 2016; Nivå 2; 20141121 (hayrof)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved

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Rönnqvist, HansViklander, Peter

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