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Re-evaluation of the Sliding Stability of Concrete Dams on Rock


Foundation failure due to sliding is one of the predominant causes of failure of concrete dams. Sliding can occur along the contact between concrete and rock or along planes of weakness deep in the rock foundation or abutments. The aim of the project is to work out a more rigid procedure for the assessment of the sliding stability of a dam, which can be applied in a step-wise manner in accordance with possible observations and measurements. The final report will contain a classification of different planes of weakness in the rock mass and an overview of kinematically possible sliding mechanisms in the foundation area of dams. Special attention is given to the water pressure in the discontinuities, including seepage forces. The project also aims at an asessement of the factor of safety concept and the probabilistic approach as well as a discussion of the main numerical methods for this kind of problems. The development of a new three dimensional CAD-based program, which uses the limit equilibrium method, enables the user to prove different failure mechanisms and the sensitivity of his assumptions; moreover, it is a useful tool for visualization. In combination with the information, gained by monitoring the rock mass behaviour, it will be possible to draw reliable conclusions about the sliding stability of the rock foundation of a given dam.


Bergamin, Stefan and Fritz, Pit

Index Terms:

slope; stability; sliding stability; limit equilibrium method; CAD; TunnelingGroup; monitoring; boschung; TunnelingGroup; AutoBlock; Bergamin, Stefan; Fritz, Pit


see also ETH Research DB.

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