Gordon Dam

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Gordon Dam
Gordon Dam.jpg
The double arch wall of Gordon Dam holding back Lake Gordon
Gordon Dam is located in Tasmania
Gordon Dam
Location in Tasmania
Country Australia
Location South West Tasmania
Coordinates 42°43′50″S 145°58′35″E / 42.73056°S 145.97639°E / -42.73056; 145.97639Coordinates: 42°43′50″S 145°58′35″E / 42.73056°S 145.97639°E / -42.73056; 145.97639
Purpose Power
Status Operational
Construction began 1974 (1974)
Opening date 1978 (1978)
Owner(s) Hydro Tasmania
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Arch dam
Impounds Gordon River
Height 140 m (459 ft)
Length 198 m (650 ft)
Width (crest) 2.75 m (9 ft)
Width (base) 17.7 m (58 ft)
Dam volume 154×10^3 m3 (5×10^6 cu ft)
Spillway type Controlled
Spillway capacity 175 m3/s (6,180 cu ft/s)
Reservoir
Creates Lake Gordon
Total capacity 12.4 km3 (3.0 cu mi)
Catchment area 1,280 km2 (494 sq mi)
Surface area 278 km2 (107 sq mi)
Power station
Name Gordon Power Station
Coordinates 42°43′48″S 145°58′12″E / 42.73000°S 145.97000°E / -42.73000; 145.97000
Operator(s) Hydro Tasmania
Commission date 1978; 1988
Type Conventional
Turbines 3 Fuji x 144 MW (193,107 hp)
Installed capacity 432 to 450 MW (579,322 to 603,460 hp)
Capacity factor 0.9
Annual generation 1,388 GWh (4,997 TJ)
Website
hydro.com.au
[1]

The Gordon Dam, also known as the Gordon River Dam, is a major gated double curvature concrete arch dam with a controlled spillway across the Gordon River, located in South West Tasmania, Australia. The impounded reservoir is called Lake Gordon.

The dam was constructed in 1974 by the Hydro Electric Corporation (TAS) for the purpose of generating hydro-electric power via the conventional Gordon Power Station located below the dam wall.[1][2]

Features and location[edit]

The Gordon Dam wall, constructed with 1,540 thousand cubic metres (54×10^6 cu ft) of earthen core, is 198 metres (650 ft) long and 140 metres (460 ft) high, making it the tallest dam in Tasmania and the fifth-tallest in Australia.[3] At 100% capacity the dam wall holds back 12,359,040 megalitres (436,455×10^6 cu ft) of water; making Lake Gordon the largest lake in Australia.[4]:1 The surface area of the lake is 278,000 hectares (690,000 acres) and the catchment area is 1,280 square kilometres (490 sq mi). The single controlled spillway is capable of discharging 175 cubic metres per second (6,200 cu ft/s).[1]

Approximately 48 arch dams have been built in Australia and only nine have double curvature. Gordon Dam is almost twice the height of the next highest arch dam, Tumut Pondage.[4]:5-6

Power station[edit]

Main article: Gordon Power Station

Water from the dam descends 183 metres (600 ft) underground into its power station, where three turbines of 144 megawatts (193,000 hp) generating up to 432 megawatts (579,000 hp) of power, covering about 13% of the electricity demand of Tasmania.[5] The first two turbines were commissioned in 1978, before the third was commissioned a decade later in 1988.[6]

The power station is fueled by water from Lake Gordon. Water from Lake Pedder is also drawn into Lake Gordon through the McPartlans Pass Canal at 42°50′51″S 146°11′45″E / 42.84750°S 146.19583°E / -42.84750; 146.19583 (McPartlans Pass Canal).

History[edit]

In 1963, the Australian Government provided an A$5 million grant to Tasmania's Hydro-Electric Commission to build the Gordon River Road from Maydena into the Gordon River area in the South West Wilderness region.[7] Construction was underway by 1964, and within three years, the Tasmanian State Parliament approved the Gordon River Power Development with little in house opposition in 1967.

The completed Gordon Dam was the only dam built on the Gordon River, despite the support of Tasmanian politicians such as Eric Reece, Robyn Gray, and others to build the Franklin Dam further downstream.

The dam was designed with Dr. Sergio Guidici as the chief engineer. He went on to be involved with the design of the Crotty Dam in the West Coast Range, one of the last significant dams created by Hydro Tasmania during its unabated dam-building era.

In June 2015, the Australian troupe How Ridiculous, known for its YouTube videos featuring trick shots with various sporting balls and flying discs, broke their own world record for highest-altitude basketball shot, successfully sinking a basket from the top of the dam through a hoop set up on the river bank below—a height of 126 metres (413 ft).[8]

See also[edit]

Gordon Dam bridge
Carries Pedestrians[9]
Characteristics
Width 2.7 metres (8 ft 10 in)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Register of Large Dams in Australia" (EXCEL (REQUIRES DOWNLOAD)). Dams information. Australian National Committee on Large Dams. 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Gordon Power Station Fact Sheet: Technical fact sheet" (PDF). Energy: Our power stations. Hydro Tasmania. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Australia's Highest Dams" (PDF). The Australian National Committee on Large Dams Incorporated. Retrieved 7 April 2008. The five tallest dams listed in order of decreasing height are: Dartmouth Dam, 180 metres (590 ft), Victoria; Thomson River Dam, 166 metres (545 ft), Victoria; Talbingo Dam, 162 metres (531 ft), NSW; Warragamba Dam, 142 metres (466 ft), NSW; Gordon Dam, 140 metres (460 ft), Tasmania 
  4. ^ a b "Gordon Dam, Tasmania: Submission for an National Engineering Landmark" (PDF). Engineers Australia. September 2000. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Gordon Catchment". Hydro Tasmania. 
  6. ^ "Gordon Dam: National Engineering Landmark" (PLAQUE). Engineers Australia. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  7. ^ Thompson, Peter (1981). Power In Tasmania. Austrlaian Conservation Foundation. p. 19. ISBN 0-85802-064-5. 
  8. ^ Hitchcock, Denham (14 June 2015). "How Ridiculous Set New World Record". Sunday Night (Yahoo! News 7). Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Southwest National Park".