Design and Stability Evaluation of Balsam Meadow Dam

by Chan-Feng Tsai,
Bing C. Yen,
Keith D. Tucker,
Shahen Askari,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Concrete Face Rockfill Dams—Design, Construction, and Performance


The proposed Balsam Meadow Dam is a 126 feet high concrete-faced rolled rockfill dam currently under construction for the Balsam Meadow hydroelectric project in California. Detailed field exploration, laboratory testing program and numerical analyses were carried out to evaluate the static and seismic stability of this proposed dam. In this paper, brief descriptions of the site geotechnical conditions and reasons for the selection of a concrete faced rockfill dam will be provided. The emphases of the paper are on the procedures and techniques used for the static and dynamic stability evaluations. In addition to conventional rockfill dam stability evaluations, this paper discusses several different considerations made in the course of evaluation. Several approaches were taken, ranging from static deformations due to dam construction and reservoir filling to seismic induced permanent deformations under the design earthquake.

Subject Headings: Rockfill dams | Rock fills | Seismic tests | Dams | Infrastructure construction | Field tests | Statics (mechanics) | Earthfill dams | California | United States

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