The Stabilization of Minidoka Powerplant and Dam

by John R. Baals, Jr., US Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, United States,
Paul M. Ruchti, US Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


The rehabilitation of structures can pose numerous challenges to the engineer. The structure historical preservation, the benefit cost ratio of the rehabilitation, and the stability of the structure both before and after the rehabilitation are but a few of the considerations. When a hundred year old structure is involved, original and modern methods for the determination of design earthquakes will differ greatly. Seismic activity during the life of an old structure will significantly increase the magnitude of the design earthquake. Recent seismic activity around Minidoka dam and powerplant increased the magnitude of the Maximum Credible Earthquake (MCE). The MCE is an extreme design earthquake applied to structures that are vital to the retention of a reservoir. When the updated MCE was applied to the powerplant/dam structure, the structure did not meet current stability criteria. This paper describes the design of a stabilization system required to upgrade the Minidoka powerplant/dam structure to current stability criteria.

Subject Headings: Structural stability | Seismic design | Power plants | Dams | Historic preservation | Seismic tests | Earthquake magnitude scale | Hydro power

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