Optimising earth dam design in seasonal freeze-thaw climates

Blyth, James Ian (2013) Optimising earth dam design in seasonal freeze-thaw climates. [USQ Project]


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This research project explores the challenges associated with the design and construction of earthen embankment dams in climates where seasonal temperature variations result in freeze-thaw cycling of the material in the structure and winter conditions inhibit construction. Engineers must take into account seasonally limited construction schedules and adapt their methods to ensure that the dam is built properly under freezing conditions. Standardised design methodology and construction techniques are not readily available to engineers in many of these regions resulting in a variety of adopted practices and design parameters.

The project aims to identify common issues and provide a series of recommendations that could potentially be used as a platform for a standardised set of guidelines for use by engineers involved in earth dam design in seasonally cold regions. A comprehensive literature review was paired with practical experience from engineers in the field to provide a broad and functional source of information. Key areas explored in the project are design principles, material selection and construction methods specifically in application to seasonally cold regions.

Some key findings that came out of the investigation included the detrimental effects of repeated cycles of freezing and thawing on fine grained soils, the high performance of alternative barriers such as asphalt and bituminous membrane and the specialised techniques developed to enable dams to be constructed during winter with little effect on quality.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Ghabraie,Kazem
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2014 06:10
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2014 04:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: optimising; earth dam design; seasonal; freeze-thaw climate
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090501 Civil Geotechnical Engineering
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090509 Water Resources Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400502 Civil geotechnical engineering
40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400513 Water resources engineering
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 87 Construction > 8702 Construction Design > 870201 Civil Construction Design
B Economic Development > 87 Construction > 8703 Construction Materials Performance and Processes > 870399 Construction Materials Performance and Processes not elsewhere classified
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/24681

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