University of Oulu

Torabi Haghighi, A., Tuomela, A. & Hekmatzadeh, A.A. Assessing the Efficiency of Seepage Control Measures in Earthfill Dams. Geotech Geol Eng 38, 5667–5680 (2020).

Assessing the efficiency of seepage control measures in earthfill dams

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Author: Torabi Haghighi, Ali1; Tuomela, Anne2; Hekmatzadeh, Ali Akbar3
Organizations: 1Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Structures and Construction Engineering Research Group, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Shiraz University of Technology, Po. Box 71555-313, Shiraz, Iran
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-11-11


Seepage control in earthfill dams is a major concern during different phases of dam construction and operation. More than 30% of earthfill dam failures occur due to uncontrolled flow in the dam body and foundation. Seepage control measures, designed and installed at suspected sites of uncontrolled flow, thus play a vital role in stabilizing earthfill dams. However, the actual efficiency of seepage control measures often falls short of expected performance due to soil heterogeneity and changes over time. Assessing the performance of seepage control measures based on monitoring and modeling is necessary to avoid abrupt failures in earthfill dams. In this study, we developed a novel method for quantifying the efficiency of seepage control measures in earthfill dams based on combined seepage modeling and monitoring data. We tested the method by applying it to assess the efficiency of seepage control components at the Doroudzan dam, Iran. The results revealed that the overall efficiency of the dam’s seepage control measures (depending on water level in the reservoir) was 51–70%, based on the magnitude of discharged flow. The efficiency of three major seepage control devices, the chimney drain, cutoff wall, and grouting diaphragm in the left abutment, was 76–82%, 68–74%, and 16–19%, respectively.

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Series: Geotechnical and geological engineering
ISSN: 0960-3182
ISSN-E: 1573-1529
ISSN-L: 0960-3182
Volume: 38
Issue: 5
Pages: 5667 - 5680
DOI: 10.1007/s10706-020-01371-w
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 212 Civil and construction engineering
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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