Dam safety system

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Dam safety systems are systems monitoring the state of dams used for hydropower or other purposes, as well as external physical threats to them, and issuing emergency warnings at various degrees of automation. This includes the use of differential GPS and SAR remote sensing to monitor the risks imposed by landslides and subsidence. For large dams seismographs are used to detect reservoir-induced seismicity that could threaten the stability of the dam.[1] The output of these systems can provide warning to the local population ahead of a potential collapse.[2]

Particular applications[edit]


The monitoring and warning system safeguarding the Kiev Reservoir dam is complicated enough to include protection from a space object impact.[3]

United States[edit]

Dam safety systems became a focus of multi-agency regulations during the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction of large flood control and hydro-electric power generation projects. To help benchmark proven practices, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) formed a national non-profit organization of state and federal dam safety regulators, dam owners and operators, engineering consultants, manufacturers and suppliers, academia, contractors and others interested in dams safety. More recently public safety concerns were addressed by the Indian Dams Safety Act of 1992 during hearings before the Select Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, 102nd Congress, second session, on S. 2617. The purpose was to provide for the maintenance of dams located on Indian lands in New Mexico by the Bureau of Indian Affairs through contracts with the Indian tribes. (August 4, 1992 in Washington, D.C.)

The ASDSO Conference Proceedings paper by Gary R. Holtzhausen (1991) describes the effective use of tiltmeters with remote sensing to provide reliable low-cost early warning of impending structural failures.

The ASDSO Conference Proceedings paper by Barry K. Meyers (2002) describes two case studies using failure modes analysis together with a variety of automated instrumentation to provide early warnings at White River Project owned by Puget Sound Energy as well as a case study of the Silver Creek Dam near Silverton OR.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.seis.sc.edu/projects/SCSN/history/Publications/pageoph971/pageoph971.pdf
  2. ^ "Applying AI to Structural Safety Monitoring and Evaluation". Doi.ieeecomputersociety.org. 1996-08-01. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  3. ^ [1] Archived February 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Meyers, Barry K. "“DESIGNING DAM SAFETY MONITORING AND EARLY WARNING". ASDSO. Archived from the original on 2016-01-14. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) 1991 Annual Conference Proceedings: 29 September - 2 October 1991 at San Diego, California. Holzhausen, Gary R. - Applied Geomechanics, Inc. Low-Cost, Automated Detection of Precursors to Dam Failure: Coolidge Dam, Arizona (pp. 281–284)
  • Dam Safety: Know the Potenatial Hazards (Federal Emergency Management Agency Booklet L152 / Sept 1989)
  • Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety - June 25,] 1979 (GPO: 041-001-00187-5)
  • Guidelines for Instrumentation and Measurements for Monitoring Dam Performance, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2000, 712 pages, ISBN 0-7844-0531-X.

External links[edit]