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.

Example analyses

Explore these GeoStudio analyses of dams and levees.

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Rapid Drawdown with Multiple Stages


Stability analysis during rapid drawdown is an important consideration in the design of embankment dams. Using SLOPE/W, stability during rapid drawdown can be analyzed in two approaches, namely the “effective strength” approach and the “staged undrained strength” approach. The purpose of this illustrative example is to show how to conduct a rapid drawdown analysis using the undrained strength approach.

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Rapid Drawdown with Effective Stress

Stability analysis during rapid drawdown is an important consideration in the design of embankment dams. Using SLOPE/W, stability during rapid drawdown can be analyzed in two approaches; namely the “effective strength” approach and the “staged undrained strength” approach. The purpose of this example is to show how to conduct a rapid drawdown analysis using the effective stress approach.

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Upper San Fernando Dam

The San Fernando earthquake occurred in California in 1971. The earthquake created a liquefaction failure at the Lower San Fernando Dam and Reservoir. This analysis demonstrates the advantages of using QUAKE/W with other GeoStudio products to analyze the multiple issues that arose with this case.

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Pore-Water Pressures Defined by Finite Element Analysis

There are several different ways that pore-water pressures can be defined within SLOPE/W. This example demonstrates how to integrate SEEP/W and SLOPE/W analyses so that the pore water pressures used to determine stability are generated in SEEP/W.

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Related products

GeoStudio includes five integrated products that work in combination to provide effective analysis of dams and levees.

 

SLOPE/W

Stability analysis of soil and rock slopes.

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SEEP/W

Finite element analysis of groundwater flow in saturated / unsaturated porous media.

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SIGMA/W

Finite element stress and deformation analysis of earth and structural materials.

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QUAKE/W

Finite element analysis of earthquake liquefaction and dynamic loading.

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CTRAN/W

Finite element analysis of solute and gas transport in porous media.

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Explore all solutions

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