2007 – The geotectonics and geotechnics of the Traveston Crossing Dam foundation

Mike Marley, Greg Dryden, Geoff Eades, Edwin Brown, and Gary Huftile

Traveston Crossing Dam is proposed for construction at AMTD 207.6 km on the Mary River, about 25 km upstream of Gympie in South East Queensland. The Mary Valley at the dam site is located in a zone of complex geology resulting from formation in a tectonic accretionary wedge setting. This has been responsible for its complex geological structure, which has required a range of geological and geotechnical investigation and interpretation techniques to develop a model on which to base the dam’s preliminary design. This paper describes the tectonic history and the innovative techniques used in developing the geological model for the dam foundation.

The investigation involved aerial photograph interpretation, geological mapping; geotechnical drilling, including water pressure testing; seismic refraction profiling; downhole geophysical logging; excavation and geological mapping of large excavations; and hydrogeological investigation involving investigative drilling and pumping tests.

A Vulcan 3-D computerised geological model was constructed using borehole data, seismic refraction interpretation and downhole geophysics interpretation. The geological model has been used in the development of the preliminary design and confirms that the foundations are suitable for the proposed structure.

Keywords: Dam Foundation; Geophysics; Investigation Tectonics; Geological Strength Index Kinetic Analysis

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