Remedial Treatment Exploration, Wolf Creek Dam, Ky.

by Marvin D. Simmons, Chf.; Geology Section, Nashville District Corps of Engrgs., Nashville, Tenn.,


Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 7, Pg. 966-981


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: After 15 years of apparently satisfactory operation, Wolf Creek Dam developed underseepage and piping problems associated with its karstic foundation. When a sinkhole developed at the downstream toe of the earth embankment, a concentrated program of exploration was undertaken to determine both the source of the problem and possible remedial treatment. Various exploratory techniques were used; however, direct subsurface information obtained by drilling and grouting was the only method reliable enough to define the problem so that a remedy could be devised. After successful emergency grouting had arrested the piping, in all probability saving the dam from a major failure, a search for a permanent answer determined that a concrete diaphragm wall through the earth embankment into the limestone foundation would be the most acceptable method of correcting the problem. Construction of such a wall is costly; therefore, it was important to ascertain the minimal depth and extent required for it. The exploratory methods used for this purpose are reviewed in this paper.

Subject Headings: Dam foundations | Rivers and streams | Piping erosion | Remediation | Grouting | Concrete dams | Embankment dams | Dam failures

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