Landslides in reservoirs and dam operation
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Risk of landslide ocurrence in reservoirs is enhanced by the submergence of the slope toe and by rapid drawdown conditions. Instabilities may endanger the dam itself. They may also lead to strong wave motion in the reservoir in case of rapid landsliding. The paper reviews a few recent cases of fast landslides into reservoirs. Two case studies are also presented in more detail. The first one refers to rapid drawdown. It is concluded that a proper analysis requires a coupled flow-deformation approach. The second case (Canelles landslide) describes the cause of first instability (rapid drawdown), the validation of the hydrologic model of the landslide and the thermal analysis of a rapid motion. Recent developments indicate that permeability in the vicinity of the sliding surface is a key parameter to decide the risk of rapid motion. The paper points out also the risk of slope instability associated with excavations required for dam construction (foundations, portals of diversion tunnels, spillway, etc). The paper provides a set of conclusions inspired in the review of case histories and in the analyses of real cases performed.
CitationAlonso, E.; Pinyol, N.M. Landslides in reservoirs and dam operation. A: "Dam Maintenance and Rehabilitation II: Proceedings of the 2nd International Congress on Dam Maintenance and Rehabilitation, Zaragoza, Spain, 23-25 November 2010". CRC Press, 2011, p. 3-28.
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