Home » Shop » 2022 – Numerical modelling of transverse cracking in embankment dams
Ke He – Associate Geotechnical Engineer, Pells Sullivan Meynink (PSM), Chongmin Song – Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales, Robin Fell – Emeritus Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales.
Internal erosion and piping which can occur in embankment dams, levees, and their foundations is the cause of about half of large embankment dam failures. Most internal erosion and piping failures occur due to concentrated leak erosion which is commonly initiated by a crack in the embankment or its foundation. Causes of cracking include desiccation and more importantly differential settlements. In many cases such cracks are formed internally within the embankment and not visible at the surface. Understanding the risk posed by concentrated leak erosion requires an understanding of crack initiation and propagation. This paper presents the development of suitable numerical simulation procedures for predicting the potential location of cracks, crack width and depth in embankment dams using a combination of conventional numerical and crack propagation techniques.
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ANCOLD is an incorporated voluntary association of organisations and individual professionals with an interest in dams in Australia.