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Background: The blast- and earth-fill dam of the Kambarata 2 hydropower station is situated in the seismically active Central Tien Shan region of the Kyrgyz Republic. More than 70% of the dam volume was produced during a blast event on December 22, 2009. In 2010–2011, dam construction was completed after earth filling on top of the blasted material and installing concrete and clay screens together with bentonite grouts. A geophysical survey had been completed in 2012–2013, mainly to monitor the resistivities inside the dam. Results: The geophysical survey completed on the Kambarata 2 dam site showed lower resistivity zones in the earth fill and relatively higher resistivities in the blast-fill material. Topographic, geophysical and piezometric inputs had been compiled within a 3D geomodel constructed with GOCAD software. This model was compared with the design structure of the dam in order to define the upper limits of the underlying alluvium, the deposited blast fill, earth fill and top gravel materials (represented by the dam surface). The central cross-section of this model was extrapolated over the full length of the main dam profile. Conclusions: On the basis of a calibrated hydrogeological model and known geomechanical properties of the materials, dam stability calculations were completed for different scenarios considering different reservoir levels and varying seismic conditions. Some of these scenarios indicated a critical vulnerability of the dam, e.g., if impacted by a horizontal seismic acceleration of Ah = 0.3 g and a vertical seismic acceleration Av = 0.15 g, with an estimated return period of 475 years. As a general conclusion, it was noted that this case study can be used as an example for surveys on much larger natural – landslide or moraine – dams. A series of geophysical methods (e.g., electrical and electro-magnetic techniques, seismic and microseismic measurements) can be applied to investigate even very deep dam structures. These methods have the advantage over classical direct prospecting techniques, such as drilling, of using equipment that is much lighter and thus more easily transportable and applicable in difficult terrain. Furthermore, they can provide continuous information over wider areas. This specific application to a blast-fill dam allows us to better outline the strengths and weaknesses of the exploration types and geomodels as a series of investigated parameters can be verified more easily than for natural dams. Keywords: Hydropower plant; Artificial dam; Blast event; Natural blockage; Electrical resistivity tomography; 3D geomodel; Hydro-geomechanical modelling * Correspondence: HB.Havenith@ulg.ac.be Department of Geology, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium Full list of author information is available at the end of the article © 2015 Havenith et al.; licensee Springer. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 2 of 15 Background group of three stations. Upstream from the Kambarata 2 Natural blockages formed by bedrock landslides may reservoir the construction of at least one additional persist for several tens, hundreds or thousands of years station is planned, with a total capacity of nearly and thus could store large amounts of water, posing a 2000 MW. potential threat to communities living downstream, The entire Naryn hydropower cascade is located in the sometimes hundreds of kilometres from the dam site. It seismically active Central Tien Shan (Abdrakhmatov can be exemplified by the catastrophic breach of a et al. 2003), on both north-east and south-west sides dammed lake in the upper reaches of the Rio Barrankos of the large Talas-Fergana Fault strike-slip fault (see in Argentina (Hermanns et al. 2011), after which the Figures 1 and 2). The design of the dams had to take flood travelled for about 1000 km before reaching the into consideration the high seismic hazard (see Figure 2) Atlantic Ocean. Studies of such features face difficulties marked by a Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) of ~0.38 g due to their size, complexity and irregularity of in- for a 475 year period according to Abdrakhmatov et al. ternal structure. The presented case study relates to 2003, who used zones as seismic sources. For the same the investigation of the internal structure of a com- area, Bindi et al. (2012) obtained a PGA of ~0.28 g for a bined blast-fill and earth-fill dam of the Kambarata 2 475 return period – using mainly large active faults as Hydropower Plant(KHPP-2)and describesa setof seismic sources. The KHPP-2 dam stability was assessed geophysical tools and hydro-geomechanical analyses for a maximum horizontal acceleration of 0.3 g, which is that couldalsobeused toalsoassessthe stabilityof close the latest 475-year return period PGA of 0.28 g pre- (possibly much larger) natural dams. An application of dicted by Bindi et al. (2012). Undoubtedly, also ground similar methods to such a natural dam is presented in acceleration values with much larger return periods Torgoev et al. (2013). (>1000 years) should be considered for a complete seismic The KHPP-2 is located on the Naryn River in dam stability assessment. As part of a Master thesis Kyrgyzstan (Figure 1), and it is part of the Naryn hydro- (Lamair 2012) seismic hazard had been assessed for the power cascade comprising six operating stations with a Central Tien Shan for longer return periods (up to total capacity of approximately 3200 MW (see location 10,000 years). Those calculations indicate a PGA of almost in Figure 2). KHPP-2 is one of the smaller stations pro- 1 g for the entire Central Tien Shan. For such long return ducing a power of 360 MW (when all three units are in- periods the Talas-Fergana Fault zone is marked by a PGA stalled) and initially it was designed to be one within a of even more than 1 g, while it should be noted (Figure 2) Figure 1 Map of Kyrgyzstan (with indication of geographic, upper and right axes as well as UTM43 N projection reference systems, lower and left axes) with location of KHPP-2 site, major historical earthquakes (circles) and faults (yellow), river network in blue and road network in grey; landslide locations are shown by red dots. Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 3 of 15 Figure 2 a) Seismic hazard map of the Central Tien Shan (Abdrakhmatov et al. 2003; with indication of geographic and UTM43 N projection reference systems,) showing the location of the Naryn HPP cascade and the presence of major active faults, including the largest one, the Talas-Fergana Fault. b) Seismic hazard map of the same area computed by Bindi et al. (2012). Landslide locations are shown by red outlines. that acceleration values are not higher along this fault KHPP-2 reservoir area). Here, only the stability of the zone than for the surrounding area if the shorter standard dam itself has been computed on the basis of all infor- return period of 475 years is considered (due to the large mation on the dam structure that could be compiled time intervals of several hundreds of years between char- from various surveys. acteristic major shocks occurring on each of the three seg- The basal and central part of the KHPP-2 dam is made ments of this fault, see Korjenkov et al. 2010). Here, the of an artificial mass movement that was created in extreme PGA values for large return periods were not December 2009 through an oriented blast (2600 tons of used for the seismic dam stability assessment as those explosives that was distributed within two galleries as values are affected by very high uncertainty; further, it will shown in Figure 4) of the right-bank rock promontory be shown that dam instability becomes critical even for near the present upper part of the dam (snapshots of the 475-year PGA values. blast event, kindly provided by A. Obopol, are shown in Possible impacts by landslide activation (through seis- Figure 5). mic shaking or reservoir filling) were not considered According to the design, the entire dam material even though several landslides are known to have oc- should have been produced by blasted rocks with a vol- 6 3 curred near the dam site and in the reservoir area ume of 3 10 m and a height of at least 50 m. However, (known landslides are plotted on the maps in Figures 1 after the explosion only about two thirds of the planned and 3, see also the image of two ancient large rockslides dam volume was reached and an additional rock mass of 6 3 3 with an estimated volume of 10–20 10 m in the 780,000 m had to be moved (mostly from the explosion Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 4 of 15 Figure 3 View of the KHPP-2 reservoir (see blue zone) and neighbouring areas with identified landslides (light blue outlines) and zoom on an ancient rockslide dam (imagery from Google Earth). area) to the site to fill the dam up to the design elevation Medeo dam that was constructed in the 1960s to of 961 m using traditional methods. protect the city of Alma Ata from debris flows: it ac- tually did so in 1973 (Nedriga et al. 1978; Gerashnov Blast-fill dams et al. 1979). Other examples are the Baipaza HPP Why was the Kambarata 2 dam designed as a blast-fill dam in Tajikistan (1968), the Ak-Su dam in Dagestan dam? This technology was mainly developed in the (1972), the Burlykia (1975) and Uch-Terek (1989) experi- Soviet Union and in China; it was expected to be more mental dam in Kyrgyzstan and some others presented in cost-efficient than other dam construction methods, Adushkin (2011). The Burlikya and Uch-Terek explo- especially if applied in high (remote) mountain areas sions were carried as tests for the Kambarata 1 dam (Adushkin 2011). The most famous example is the construction. Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 5 of 15 Figure 4 a) Panchromatic Quickbird image (0.6 m resolution) of the dam site before blast (in 2008) with location of the local ‘Southern Fault’ (yellow line), seismic stations S1-S7 which recorded the blast and the two galleries that had been filled with explosives; underground spillway in blue. b) Coloured Quickbird image (2.5 m resolution) of the dam site after complete shaping of the dam with location of explosion area (2011). c) OverlayofDEMs of the site:coarse90mSRTM DEMinthe left part, 20m SPOT DEM in the main part and local 2.5 m DEM constructed from total station measurements – see zoom with about 4500 topographic data points in dark blue in d), together with locations of electrical resistivity profiles (violet lines). Figure 5 The KHPP-2 explosion event on December 22, 2009 (11:54 am). a) Snapshots kindly provided by A. Obopol; note the slope failure near spillway exit caused by seismic shaking; see also title page of journal published in Bishkek on December 23, 2009 (title: ‘Explosion of national importance’). b) Accelerograms recorded on the E-W and Z- components of station S2 above the spillway exit (location in Figure 4a). Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 6 of 15 Petrov et al. (1975) and Adushkin (2000, 2011) high- so-called ‘Southern Fault’ two landslides had developed light the advantages of blast-fill dams compared to trad- at a distance of about 2 km from the dam site. Along itional rock-fill dams: blast-fill dams are generally less this Southern Fault evidence of recurrent Late Quaternary susceptible to inner erosion due to the presence of both (likely Holocene) displacements with single-event offsets of fine- and very coarse-grained material created by the 1–2 m each were observed. blast and they are considered to be more stable, espe- Before the explosion, our team had participated in the cially in seismic conditions. Korchevsky et al. (2011) ex- setting up of a seismic monitoring network made of plain the latter characteristic through analogy with eight stations. Through this network, the seismic ground natural rockslide dams that proved to be very stable motions were measured in the near field of the blast (using examples mainly from the Tien Shan) – probably (within a radius of 5 km). The locations of the seven also due to the mixture of fine- and coarse-grained ma- nearest stations (one station was located at 5 km to the terial contributing to a larger resistance to friction when north of the site as reference) are shown in Figure 4a. experiencing high amplitude shaking. Stations S1-S5 were equipped with accelerometers as the ground motions within a distance of 3 km from the blast General information on KHPP-2 and the explosion event were expected to be very high; the other stations were The 60 m high KHPP-2 dam forms a blockage on the equipped with seismometers. Station S1 located on the Naryn River resulting in a reservoir with a volume of first floor of the power house had produced the highest 6 3 70 10 m extending 10 km upstream from the dam. As acceleration of about 1.8 g on the Z-component (this the reservoir had filled up immediately after the explo- high amplitude was probably due to a resonance effect sion without the presence of a deviation of the river, the of the concrete floor); the highest acceleration on natural spillway had to be constructed beforehand within the ground was obtained at station S2 above the spillway rocks of the left bank of the Naryn River (opposite to exit (near a triggered slope failure that can be seen in the explosion area, see location in the maps in Figure 4, Figures 5a and 6d); the recorded accelerogram is shown and view of the downstream exit in Figure 6 below). The in the lower right corner of Figure 5: the groups of maps in Figure 5 also show that one active fault crosses waves related to the two sub-explosions in gallery 1 the site just downstream from the reservoir; near this and 2 can be clearly identified. The largest amplitude Figure 6 a) View towards the Kambarata canyon before the explosion (from upstream to downstream); the yellow line shows the approximate profile of the dam created by the blast. b) Similar view towards the blocked canyon a few hours after the blast. c) Spillway exit downstream from the dam 2 hours after the blast, without water outflow (note also the slope above the exit that partly failed during the explosion). d) View of the spillway exit and of the downstream side of the dam, one day after the blast (with water outflow, note also the seepage in the upper part of the dam due to insufficient height and thickness of the blockage reached during explosion). Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 7 of 15 is −1.02 g on the E-W component, i.e. oriented towards along the middle part it is 444.5 m; the downstream the west – duetothe directivityofthe blast. slope was shaped with a slope of 1:2.5. For comparison, Figure 4 also shows the satellite image of the site after completion of dam construction Methods in 2011 and the digital elevation models (DEM) available Several surveys have been carried out on the dam site for the site. since the explosion event. Most started when the design As indicated above, the blast did not produce the de- height and form of the dam had been reached at the end signed dam height of at least 50 m above the river level. of 2010. A topographic survey was carried out by a local At the opposite slope (left bank), the dam crest was only team (Design and Research Institute HYDROPROJECT, 17 m above the river level and was at risk of overtopping Kara-Kul), which had collected 4500 data points with a as the upstream entry of the spillway is located nearly at total station in 2010; those cover the entire dam site and a similar level (partly seen in Figure 6b). Intensive seep- surrounding areas (see small dark blue dots in Figures 4d age was actually observed during the next few days, in and 7). These data points were interpolated by kriging to parallel with the normal outflow through the spillway produce a 2.5 m resolution DEM of the site (shown (see Figure 6d). Thanks to immediate filling of the miss- above in Figures 4c and d); kriging of the data points ing material by bulldozers at the left bank side, the over- had produced that best DEM result among the applied topping could be inhibited and the dam was finally surface interpolation techniques, including triangulation saved. However, later measurements showed that this and inverse distance weighting. In 2010, about 20 pie- part remained the weakest within the dam structure (see zometers had been installed on and near the dam to investigation results below). control ground water levels (location shown in Figure 7 Filling works continued over several months and only marked by light blue points). in the summer of 2010 was the dam shaped as planned The comparison of piezometer data collected (from according to the design (see maps in Figures 4 and 7, September 2010 until September 2012) along the main see view in Figure 7). The dam now has a central crest dam section with the reservoir level (Figure 8) shows height of 60 m (above river level) reaching an elevation that the latter had a clear influence on the piezometric of 961.0 m; the width along the crest is 230.5 m and levels in the dam. This reveals that water infiltration had Figure 7 Panchromatic Quickbird image (0.5 m resolution) of the dam site after the blast (in 2011) with underground spillway and penstock shown by blue lines. Electrical tomography profiles are shown by dark violet point-lines (each point is the location of one electrode). H/V measurements are shown by coloured filled circles; colours according to measured resonance frequencies from 2.7 Hz in yellow (1D thickness of more than 40 m considering an average Vs ~500 m/s) to more than 5 Hz in red (1D thickness of less than 20 m for average Vs ~ 400 m/s; sizes of circles indicate the measured amplitude). Light blue dots show the location of piezometers. Dark blue dots are topographic measurements. Lower left corner: view of the downstream face of the dam made from the point marked by the yellow view angle. Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 8 of 15 Figure 8 Graph showing the evolution of the water level in the piezometers compared with the reservoir level change from September 2010 until September 2012. taken place during that period (before the final concrete measured in the lower and lateral parts of the dam, which screen was installed in the central part of the dam, but is in agreement with the decreasing thickness in those after construction of the clay screen that was obviously parts. not sufficient to inhibit water inflow). The extensive ERT surveys were completed with the In order to get a more continuous image of the chan- GeoTom-MK1Е100 RES/IP/SP equipment (GEOLOG2000 ging hydrogeological conditions within the dam struc- Company, Augsburg, Germany). They included between ture, four 2D electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) six and eight profiles that were installed in the same places surveys were carried out on the dam site, in July 2012, in 2012 and 2013 along and across the dam. The longest September 2012, June 2013 and September 2013. In ERT profile III_III (400 m length, penetration depth of 2012, also seismic refraction profiles had been com- about 70 m, see location in Figure 7) had been completed pleted by a local company (Engineering Prospecting along a diagonal section crossing the downstream face of Institute Kyrgyz GIIZ). Those provided quite ambiguous the dam from south to north. ERT profile II-II (300 m results that were not implemented in the final geophys- length, penetration depth of about 55 m) was installed ical model. In parallel with the ERT survey in September along the central SE-NW section of the dam (shown to- 2012, also 20 ambient noise H/V measurements were gether with dam section in Figure 9). Smaller ERT profiles completed (with a CityShark seismic station and a (100–200 m, penetration depth of 20–35 m) had been in- Lennartz 5 s seismometer) to provide information on stalled along the dam crest (ERT profile I_I in Figure 10) the resonance frequency of the local site conditions. The and along bench terraces on the downstream dam face. All selection of seismic and ambient noise measurements ERT profiles used the available 100 electrodes with a spa- combined electrical resistivity profiles was based on our cing adapted to the total length (4 m for the 400 m long good experience with those methods on landslide sites profile, 1 m for the 100 m long profiles); measurements (see, e.g., Danneels et al. 2008). were made according to the Wenner-Schlumberger The HV results are shown in Figure 7 as circles method. All ERT data were processed through 2D inver- coloured according to the measured fundamental reson- sion with the Res2Dinv software. ERT profiles I_I that were set up in July 2012 ance frequency f0 (yellow for f0 < 3 Hz up to red for f0 > 5Hz). The lowest frequencies (2.5-2.7 Hz) were (Figure 10b), September 2012 (Figure 10c) and September measured on the dam crest near the centre and 2013 (Figure 10d) along the dam crest show average resist- ivity values within the dam structure ranging from 150Ω. north-eastern part of the dam marked by the largest local dam thickness (about 50 m). As the thickness is m in the lowest and wet part of the dam to more than known over the dam site, a simple equation linking the 3000Ω.m near the surface of the dam covered by dry gravel (with maximum values in the north-eastern part thickness ‘h’ of the soft material to f0 and the shear wave velocity ‘Vs’ (h = Vs/4/f0) allows us to make an estimate near the explosion area). Lower resistivities (<500Ω.m) of Vs: Vs = h*4*f0, Vs = 50*4*2.5 ~ 500 m/s. Higher f0 was had also been measured in July and September 2012 at a Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 9 of 15 Figure 9 a) Dam structure (and composition – numbered materials are listed in the right legend) defined on the basis of available data and schemes with overlaid piezometers of the central axis and electrical resistivity profile II_II measured in July 2012. b) Dam structure compared with ERT profile II_II measured in September 2013. Note the increased resistivity in the central-left part of profile II_II in September 2013, probably due to reduced water flow (represented by blue arrow) through the dam (bentonite grouts ‘8’ had been enhanced in summer 2013). Figure 10 a) Schematic cross-section with piezometer and ERT profile I_I location (orange dashed outline) along dam crest. b) ERT profile I_I measurements shown for July 2012; c) for September 2012; d) for September 2013, together with water levels in piezometers located along the profile. See also blue outline of possible piping zone that disappeared after new grouting along the crest in summer 2013. Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 10 of 15 depth of about 10 m in the south-western part of the dam site containing the dam structure were then format- (blue oval outline in Figures 10b, 9c, 9d). Those lower ted for representation in a 3D model created with values had been attributed to possible water piping. GOCAD software (version 2009.2). The results pre- Below, in Figure 9, ERT profile II_II is overlaid with sented here are based on a Master’sthesisthatwas the dam structure. The data used for establishing this completed by Xu (2014). This work has also shown cross-section had been compiled from several sources that a refitting of the positions of some profiles or (mainly provided by Design and Research Institute soundings was necessary in order to get a coherent HYDROPROJECT, Kara-Kul). The core part represents 3D data set. The main references used were the piez- the blast material (1) covered by the material filled im- ometer heads installed along the dam crest. mediately after the blast event (2, mainly moved from The most extensive data sets are the ERT profiles and the blast site). On top, the dam crest is composed of the 2.5 m DEM of the site. Combining geophysical, geo- gravel-sand material (3, 4) with uncertain composition technical and structural information, three distinctive and structure. One loam-tarmac (5) and one clay layer contacts were defined and digitized on the profiles com- (6) cover the lower upstream face of the dam. In this posing the 3D model (see dotted lines in Figures 11a part, bentonite grouting had been completed (7). Add- and b). The lowest contact marks the top of the low re- itional bentonite grouts were injected along the dam sistivity zone in the alluvium and bedrock (red dots in crest (8). Concrete screens were installed both on the Figures 11a and b); the middle contact (green dots in up- and downstream faces (9). The whole dam lies Figures 11a and 10b) indicates the limit between the on top of 10–15 m of alluvial sediments (10) that blasted rocks and the wetter and probably less com- had not been removed before the blast event and the pacted fill material; the upper contact (yellow-golden bedrock (11). dots in Figures 11a and b) marks the basis of the very On the ERT profile II_II of July 2012 along the section dry and highly resistive gravels. These contacts do not shown in Figure 9a, it can be seen that the lowest resis- exactly follow the design structure but are considered to tivities of less than 100Ω.m appear within the fill mater- better reflect the actual geomechanical-hydrogeological ial while the underlying blasted material has clearly situation that is more relevant for groundwater flow and higher resistivities of more than 200Ω.m, and in many slope stability modelling. places even above 1000Ω.m. The highest resistivities Contacts of the same type were then interpolated to were measured within the gravel-sand material compos- form surfaces (Figure 11c). Between the surfaces, the ing the dam crest indicating that no water infiltration volumes were filled to create a solid model (Figure 11d): occurred in the upper part, even when the reservoir level the blue solid represents the low-resistive alluvium and was near its maximum, probably due to the strong top of bedrock, the yellow-orange solid is mainly com- screening by the concrete plates (material 9 on the up- posed of blast-fill with medium resistivities, the green stream face). Low resistivities within the fill material can solid combines low-resistive fill and gravel-sand material, be associated with water inflow below these plates due the reddish solid on top of the latter marks the highly to insufficient compaction of the post-blast filling. On resistive (dry) gravels deposited on top of the dam the basis of the combined observation of piping below structure. the crest and water inflow in the fill material, we recom- The central section across this model is overlaid with mended an enhancement of the bentonite grouting the dam structure in Figure 12a. Here, it can be seen below the dam crest. This was completed in summer that the contacts do not exactly follow the limits of the 2013. The test ERT survey in September 2013 showed designed dam structure. In particular the basis of the that this additional measure apparently had reduced the gravel-sand material ‘3’ is at a clearly lower level than water inflow as clearly higher resistivities were ob- the digitized basis of the highly resistive dry gravels. This served within the former piping zones below the is due to the fact that the lower part of material 3 has crest (Figure 10d) marked now by medium resistivity of medium resistivities; those may be attributed to a wet- more than 500Ω.m and within the fill material along the ness that could only build up in finer (sandy) material main section (Figure 9b). However, it can be noted that which would be similar to the underlying fill. those additional measures do not seem to have had any Both, the geophysical and the design structure model influence on the piezometer levels (see Figure 9). were then combined to create the numerical model shown in Figure 12b. This model was created with the Results and discussion GGU software package developed to assess geoengi- Modelling neering problems. The hydrogeological and geomecha- All geophysical profiles and soundings were compiled nical properties (here, only the shear resistance was on a GIS platform (map views are shown in Figures 4 considered) of the modelled materials are presented in and 7). The data located in the central part of the Table 1. They were determined through laboratory Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 11 of 15 Figure 11 Electrical resistivity profiles and topographic surface data imported in the GOCAD software to build a 3D model. a,b) Digitisation of distinctive resistivity levels. c) Creation of surfaces through interpolation of the same digitized resistivity levels. d) Creation of a solid model from interpolated surfaces (material filling between surfaces). tests applied to samples extracted from the piezometer hydraulic conductivity coefficients Kf (values provided boreholes and from other parts of the dam. by the Design and research Institute HYDROPROJECT, Firstly, modelling was performed with the GGU-SS- Kara-Kul). This calibration was controlled by the piezo- FLOW2D program based on numerical simulations with metric levels measured along the main dam section (see finite elements to calibrate the relatively uncertain blue level at P2_3, P3_4, P4_4 and P5_3 in Figure 12a). Figure 12 a) Initial dam profile corrected on the basis of the main section obtained from the 3D model constructed in GOCAD. b) Finite-element model built on the basis of the corrected 2D section of the dam. Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 12 of 15 Table 1 Dam material properties used for hydrogeological and slope stability modelling Material Hydraulic conductivity Hydraulic conductivity Cohesion C Internal Friction Specific weight γ coeff. Kf initial (m/s) coeff. Kf calibrated (m/s) (kN/m2) angle Ф (°) (kN/m3) −3 −5 1: Blast-fill 4 10 310 200 38 20 −3 −4 2: Fill 3 10 310 20 30 20 −4 −4 3: Gravel 8 10 810 50 40 22 −4 −6 4: Gravel-sand 8 10 110 50 40 22 −5 −5 5: Loam-Tarmac 1 10 110 30 28 20 −8 −8 6: Clay layer 1 10 110 30 28 20 −10 −10 7-8: Bentonite grouts 1 10 110 30 28 20 −10 −10 9: Concrete screen 1 10 110 300 40 24 −3 −5 10: Alluvium 1 10 810 30 28 20 −3 −9 11: Bedrock 4 10 110 300 40 24 Note: Bentonite grouts 8 were not modelled due to missing detailed data. Above values are assumed according to data known for bentonite grouts ‘7’. With the initial Kf-values, the modelled groundwater order to avoid water inflow in the upper part of the dam levels were much higher than those known from the pie- that has never been observed. Furthermore, the Kf-value zometers. Actually, Figure 13a shows that the whole of the blast-fill material was decreased by a factor of more −3 −5 dam would be ‘flooded’ if the Kf-values were as high as than 100 from 4 10 m/sto310 m/s to create the lar- previously estimated. Therefore, Kf-values were itera- ger observed groundwater level gradient within the dam tively decreased in order to model water levels within (compare graph b with c in Figure 13). In this regard, it the dam that corresponded to those observed. Through should also be noted that the Kf-values of the bedrock had −3 −9 this modelling it was revealed that the most critical to be strongly decreased from 4 10 m/s to 1 10 m/s, values were associated with the gravel-sand material 4 and otherwise water flow under the dam and under the ben- the blast-fill material 1. In fact, the Kf-value of material 4 tonite grouts 7 would have been able to create much −4 −6 had to be decreased from 8 10 m/s to 1 10 m/s in higher piezometer levels (than those observed) in the Figure 13 Hydrogeological models with (a) initial parameter Kf-values (above, provided by local company and engineers) and (b) with Kf-values calibrated through comparison of modelling results with piezometer levels measured in July 2012 and September 2013. c) Calculated dam stability scenario (most critical one among realistic scenarios) using average water level in the dam and reservoir and considering seismic effects: horizontal acceleration of 0.3 g and vertical acceleration of 0.15 g. Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 13 of 15 downstream part of the dam. With these much lower Kf- be only marginally stable for common hydro(geo)logical values, a very strong piezometric gradient appears in the conditions if impacted by the 475-year return period bedrock under screen 7, which is likely to be a realistic seismic load of Ah = 0.3 g and Av = 0.15 g. situation (compare gradient in the lower left part of It is important to note that these 2D computations do Figure 13b with the same location in Figure 13a) as evi- not reflect the total hydrogeological and geomechanical denced by the low piezometer levels on the downstream behaviour of the 3D dam structure. In particular, it could face. be that the weaker western part of the dam exhibits less Interestingly, the Kf-values of the alluvium also had to favourable hydrogeological characteristics combined be decreased by a factor of 12 to obtain results compar- with lower slope stability. However, this weakness may able with the observations, while the values were well be compensated by the proximity of the stronger bed- constrained by hydraulic conductivity measurements rock. These issues can only be treated within a full 3D that had been performed on alluvium material before model analysis which is beyond the scope of our rela- dam construction. Actually, it is likely that these values tively limited assessment. decreased when the material was compacted under the load of the dam (especially during the blast event). Conclusions Nevertheless, according to all modelling results obtained In this paper, a case study is presented that combined in- after calibration, highest groundwater flow velocities vestigation and modelling of the blast- and earth-fill were obtained in the alluvium material. dam of Kambarata 2 HPP in the Central Tien Shan, Furthermore, we believe that clogging related to de- Kyrgyz Republic. The blast event of December 22, 2009 position of fine material transported by water infiltrating had been recorded both by accelerometric and by seis- the dam during the first two years contributed to the re- mometric instruments. Related measurements showed duced Kf-values in most dam materials and the under- that accelerations of about 1 g affected the slope oppos- lying alluvium. ite to the explosion site and that the vertical acceleration Various reservoir level scenarios and associated hydro- in the powerhouse was close to 2 g (but without causing geological conditions were then used as inputs for slope significant damage). However, the blast cannot be con- stability calculations with the GGU-STABILITY software sidered as totally successful as the design height of the that implements classical static as well as pseudo-static blast-fill of about 50 m above river level had not been methods allowing us to include seismic loads. One re- reached. Consequently, immediately after the blast, earth cent application of this program to seismic slope stability material had to be transported from the explosion site to calculations can be found in Koltuk and Fernández- the opposite flank to rapidly increase the dam crest Steeger (2014). height in order to avoid overtopping. In 2010, additional The most critical scenarios under static conditions works were carried out to complete the dam construc- (factor of safety Fs < =1) that were modelled include: tion. Bentonite grouts were installed in parts of the up- local or general slope instability on the upstream face, stream face and along the dam crest, over the entire during rapid or total reservoir discharging (due to large dam height. These were added following recommenda- slope gradients, missing counterbalance of water load, tion by some of the authors because our geophysical and remaining pore pressures in the dam in the case of monitoring had provided evidence of piping across the rapid discharge); and total instability of the downstream dam. During the geophysical survey completed in face if the dam is overtopped during flooding (due to September 2013, after the additional bentonite grouting water infiltration on the downstream face and related in- near the dam crest, clearly higher resistivities had been creased pore pressures). Such situations should be measured in the same places, which was likely to be re- avoided and actually could be controlled, especially the lated to the reduced groundwater flow across the dam. one of total discharge which should be almost impos- The geophysical surveys further showed that the blast- sible due to the elevated location of the spillway entry. fill material, representing about 75% of the total dam The same scenarios are logically also unstable if a seis- volume, is characterized by relatively high resistivities mic load of Ah = 0.3 g on the horizontal component and (>500 Ω.m) and medium seismic velocities (S-wave vel- Av = 0.15 g on the vertical component is included – ocity of about 500 m/s). These properties indicate a these values are based on the seismic hazard estimates good compaction of the blast-fill material that contrasts for this region for a 475-year return period (as presented with the lower quality of the earth fill that had been above). The combinations of extreme hydrological and added on top of the rocks produced by blasting. severe seismic conditions needed are extremely unlikely, All topographic, geophysical and piezometric data but not impossible (besides the one of total discharge). from the dam site was compiled within a 3D geomodel The most realistic critical scenario that could lead to in- constructed with GOCAD software. This kind of 3D re- stability is shown in Figure 13c: the upstream face would construction firstly allowed us to check more carefully Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 14 of 15 the coherence between data in three dimensions. Sec- prospecting deep sites; the investigation depth depends ondly, the 3D data were compared with the design struc- on site conditions (e.g., the thickness of soft material) ture of the dam in order to define the upper limits of and on the resonance frequency of the seismometer (the the underlying alluvium, the deposited blast fill, earth fill Lennartz 5 s seismometer used for this survey could be and top gravel materials (represented by the dam sur- employed as well for natural/artificial dams with a thick- face). This comparison showed that the design shapes of ness up to 500 m, considering an average S-wave velocity composing materials were not all reflected by geophys- of 500 m/s for the dam material). Another promising tool ical contrasts. We therefore combined both design struc- to investigate large natural blockages would be the TEM ture and measured geophysical information in order to or TDEM (Transient or Time-Domain Electro-Magnetics) redefine material limits within a central volume. Thirdly, technique. This method would provide particularly valu- these limits were determined on each ERT profile and able results if the dam material presents relatively high then interpolated to create surfaces representing the resistivities and lies on less resistive alluvium or if ground- upper limits of the dam materials and underlying allu- water flow occurs in the lower parts of the dam. The topo- vium. Fourthly, from these surfaces a 200 m long, 90 m graphic measurements are not directly dependant on the wide (along the crest of the dam) and 80 m high 3D size of the dam but rather on the sight conditions: here, a model of the central and downstream part of the dam total station (theodolite) was used that requires a clear was built. This model contains the highest density of in- view between station and reflector; this is generally less re- formation from geophysical and piezometric measure- strictive than the unobstructed path needed between a dif- ments available. ferential GPS instrument and satellite. Certainly, for The central cross-section of this model was extrapo- constructing a digital elevation model of the dam, classical lated over the full profile of the entire dam and adapted photogrammetric or other remote sensing techniques in order to be compatible with all input data. This pro- could also be applied. file is composed of eleven sectoral parts made of nine As a general conclusion, it was noted that this case different materials. Initial estimates of the permeability study can be used as an example for surveys on much of the materials were used for hydrogeological modelling larger natural – landslide or moraine – dams. A series of of groundwater flow through the dam. Comparison with geophysical methods (e.g., electrical and electro-magnetic piezometric data showed that the estimated hydraulic techniques, seismic and microseismic measurements) can conductivities of most materials were too high; the low be applied to investigate even very deep dam structures. piezometric levels especially indicate that the materials These methods have the advantage over classical direct composing the upstream face as well as the alluvium prospecting techniques, such as drilling, of using equip- and blast-fill material must be characterized by low to ment that is much lighter and thus more easily transport- very low permeability. The permeability of the two latter able and applicable in difficult terrain. Furthermore, they materials might have been caused by the compaction can provide continuous information over wider areas. This during the blast event (related to the high fall of the specific application to a blast-fill dam allows us to better blasted rock and earth material). outline the strengths and weaknesses of the exploration On the basis of the calibrated hydrogeological model types and geomodels as a series of investigated parameters and the known geomechanical properties of the mate- can be verified more easily than for natural dams. rials, dam stability calculations were completed for dif- Abbreviations ferent scenarios considering different reservoir levels KHPP-2: Kambarata 2 Hydropower Plant; ERT: Electrical Resistivity and varying seismic conditions. The unlikely (and almost Tomography; DEM: Digital Elevation Model; H/V: H over V ambient noise method; TEM/TDEM: Transient/Time-Domain Electro-Magnetic method. impossible) cases either of totally empty or of an over- topping reservoir produced the lowest factor of safety, Competing interests respectively, for the upstream and downstream faces. The The authors declare that they have no competing interests. possible case of a seismic load of ah = 0.3 g, av = 0.15 g Authors’ contributions impacting the dam under routine conditions could also The authors HBH, IT, AT, AS completed the field investigations, HBH + YX + TFS cause its partial instability. completed the modeling part. All authors read and approved the final This case study can also be used as example for sur- manuscript. veys on much larger natural – landslide or moraine – Acknowledgements dams (such as applied by some of the authors on land- The Electrical tomography equipment was provided within the frame of slide dams in the Tien Shan, see for example Torgoev NATO Science for Peace project LADATSHA, SFP983289. The same project et al. 2013). The ERT method can be adapted to a dam had also funded the field work completed in connection with the blast event. We thank Engineering Prospecting Institute Kyrgyz GIIZ and the of any size, as long as the profiles are long enough Design and research Institute HYDROPROJECT, Kara-Kul, for having provided (investigation depth ~ 1/6 of the ERT profile length). valuable data. We also thank A. Obopol for having kindly provided the The microseismic method is particularly suitable for images of the Kambarata 2 blast of December 22, 2009. Havenith et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters (2015) 2:11 Page 15 of 15 Author details 1 2 Department of Geology, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium. Institute of Geomechanics and Development of Subsoil, Acad. of Sciences, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Geodynamics Research Center, JSC Hydroproject Institute, Moscow, Russia. PowerChina Chengdu Engineering Corporation, Huanhua Nord Str. 01, 610072 Chengdu, China. Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany. 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(eds) Earthquake-Induced Landslides, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 285–294 Xu Y. (2014) Geologische 3D Modellierung und Analyse der Standsicherheit des Submit your manuscript to a Kambarata-2 Sprengschuttdammes. Master Thesis, RWTH Aachen University journal and beneﬁ t from: 7 Convenient online submission 7 Rigorous peer review 7 Immediate publication on acceptance 7 Open access: articles freely available online 7 High visibility within the ﬁ eld 7 Retaining the copyright to your article Submit your next manuscript at 7 springeropen.com
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