Concrete Gravity Dam Cracking Analysis Methodology

by Peter R. Barrett, ANATECH Research Corp, La Jolla, United States,
H. Foadian, ANATECH Research Corp, La Jolla, United States,
Y. R. Rashid, ANATECH Research Corp, La Jolla, United States,
D. I. Morris, ANATECH Research Corp, La Jolla, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


This paper describes a methodology for the prediction and evaluation of cracking behavior in concrete gravity dam's for use in periodic safety investigations as outlined in FERC 1988. While the method has the general capability of predicting cracks anywhere in the dam structure, its primary application is in the analysis of crack propagation along the dam-foundation interface. The proposed method provides an automated procedure for crack propagation analysis to replace the trial-and-error cracked-base analysis method commonly used in gravity dam safety analyses. The finite element method provides the computational basis of the procedure. Applications of the method for gravity dams include hydrostatic (for example, Probable Maximum Flood) and seismic loading conditions. Input and output processing routines simplify the definition of loading including the upstream and downstream hydrostatic loading, and uplift pressure distribution along the dam-rock interface. Site-specific data for the reservoir, dam and foundation materials, and structural dimensions are used to define their geometry, stiffness and strength characteristics. All input is in the form of dam engineering terminology. Output is in a graphical form illustrating the distributions of cracking, uplift, and reaction forces.

Subject Headings: Concrete dams | Gravity dams | Dam foundations | Cracking | Uplifting behavior | Finite element method | Hydrostatics | Earthfill dams

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