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Dams and Levees

Rajjaprabha Dam, Thailand

GeoStudio provides comprehensive tools for analyzing dams and levees.

The analytical challenge

Dams and Levees are engineered barriers designed to retain surface water. These structures are often required to limit water losses and pore-pressures through the barrier. This is often difficult to achieve because ideal natural materials are not always available at the site. As a result, advanced designs of dams and levees may include internal drains or barriers to trap or collect seepage water or to dissipate the hydraulic head that drives flow through the dam. Operation of the dam under changing water levels can further complicate the required design. Finally, it is imperative that the dam or levee be stable under construction, operation, and draw down conditions.

The GeoStudio solution

GeoStudio is a suite of software products that can be used to evaluate the performance of dams and levees with varying levels of complexity. The seepage, settlement, filling/draining, and stability performance of the structure can be simulated during the entire construction sequence. Either long-term (steady state) or detailed transient analyses can be done to consider time-dependent responses. Pore-water pressures and stresses can be included in an advanced stability analysis. The response of the structure to earthquake loading, ground freezing/thawing or other land-climate interactions can also be investigated.

Solution Examples

Explore documented examples of how GeoStudio can effectively analyze dams and levees.

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Rapid Drawdown Stability Analysis

Stability analysis during rapid drawdown is an important consideration in the design of dams and levees. SLOPE/W can be used to conduct a three-stage rapid drawdown analysis. Alternatively, SLOPE/W can be integrated with SEEP/W or SEEP3D to conduct a transient stability analysis using effective stress strengths based on 2D or 3D pore water pressure results. Risk-based probabilistic and sensitivity analysis can be conducted, along with partial factor analysis.

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Read the 2D analysis details
Read the 3D analysis details

Design of Seepage Control Measures

SEEP/W can be used to analyze a variety of technical issues related to groundwater flow. Analyze and design seepage and uplift control measures such as stabilizing berms, cut-off walls and deflowering systems. Evaluate the risk of initiating internal erosion using seepage and exit gradients. Integrate SEEP/W and SLOPE/W to evaluate the effects of geofabrics and other innovative techniques on both seepage and stability.

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Read the analysis details

Dynamic Analysis

Analyze the stability of an earth structure subjected to earthquake loading using QUAKE/W, including the development of excess pore-water pressure during shaking and the potential for liquefaction. Integrate QUAKE/W with SIGMA/W to analyze stability and post-shaking deformation. 

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Read the analysis details

Stress and Deformation

SIGMA/W can be used to analyze the full construction sequence of an earth structure, including the development and dissipation of excess pore-water pressures during construction. Integrate SIGMA/W and SLOPE/W to analyze the deformation and stability of the structure through time. Use SIGMA/W or SEEP/W to design pore-water pressure control measures.

Download the GeoStudio data files
Read the analysis details

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Explore all solutions

GeoStudio's integrated products enable you to work across a broad range of engineering use cases.