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The effect of reservoir drawdown and long-term consolidation on the deformation of old embankment dams


The effect of reservoir drawdown and long-term consolidation on the deformation of old embankment dams



Geotechnique 47(1): 33-48



ISSN/ISBN: 0016-8505

DOI: 10.1680/geot.1997.47.1.33

The uncertainties surrounding the composition and behaviour of most old embankment dams are so great that a purely analytical approach to dam safety evaluation is unlikely to be adequate and an observational approach is needed. The monitoring of the deformations of embankment dams has an important role in assessing longterm behaviour and in evaluating safety. This paper describes field studies at five old embankment dams all constructed in the Pennines, Yorkshire. It has been confirmed that where there is a central core, significant crest settlement can be expected on reservoir drawdown, but this is not the case where there is an upstream watertight element. The field studies should aid the interpretation of observations associated with reservoir drawdown and assist both in identifying anomalous behaviour associated with deleterious processes and in preventing behaviour associated with steady-state loading and reservoir fluctuations giving unnecessary cause for concern.

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Accession: 018408041

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