Seismic safety assessment of a weir dam and appurtenant structures – 3D static and dynamic analyses

Anton Tzenkov & Aissa Mellal, Stucky

The seismic safety assessment of Verbois Dam, a weir dam on the Rhone River, is presented. An integral three-dimensional finite element model of the dam, including its appurtenant structures, steel gates and foundation is prepared. Calibration and validation of the numerical model are carried out through comparisons between measured and calculated dam temperatures and displacements. Static analyses of the dam are first conducted to evaluate the initial stresses and the displacements due to usual load cases, i.e. self-weight, hydrostatic pressure, silt pressure and temperature gradient. Then, dynamic analyses are run by direct time-step integration for three sets of accelerograms. Calculated compressive and tensile stresses in the dam and the appurtenant structures are compared to the dynamic strength of concrete. Then, dam’s sliding and overturning stability is evaluated considering the maximal dynamic response. Finally, the seismic safety of the hydro-mechanical structures is evaluated regarding steel strength, gates jamming and jacks buckling. 

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