2008 – An overview of concrete lined stilling basin and spillway scour engineering risk assessment tool for US Army Corp of Engineers dams

Brett J Heppermann

Abstract: As one of the main federal agencies with responsibility to build, operate, and maintain large dams in the United States, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is developing a risk based framework to better manage their portfolio of 600+ dams in terms of risk management and prioritization of funding. A key element to this effort is the development of risk-based analytical tools to evaluate primary features for applicable failure modes. These are used in conjunction with loading and consequence modules to assess the overall risk associated with the dam in terms of lives and economic damages. The focus of this paper is on the analytical tool being created for evaluating the probability of an uncontrolled reservoir release due to scour of concrete lined stilling basins and spillways.

This analysis module is broken down by potential failure modes that could initiate events that could lead to an uncontrolled release. The failure modes that are considered are Cavitation, Slab Uplift and Foundation Erosion, Ball Milling, Tunnel/Conduit Failure, Plunge Pool Erosion, Fuse Plug and Fuse Gate Failure, Hydraulic Loading and Profile, and Headcutting. Each failure mode analysis takes into account how the inlet structure, conveyance, and terminal structure is affected, if at all.
This paper gives and overview of the main characteristics of each failure mode and the methods used to quantify the risk associated with each.

Keywords: risk based analytical tools, concrete scour, spillway, stilling basin, risk assessment, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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