Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the Deep Mixing 2015 Conference, (DFI)

Dam Wall Toe Stabilisation Using Mass Soil Mixing Techniques
David W. Martel, Wagstaff Piling Pty Ltd., Australia; Tom George, Wagstaff Piling Pty Ltd., Australia

As part of the regional water authority review and upgrade of local dams a 35m x 5m x 3m wet soil mixed block was required for stabilisation of a dam wall toe in remote Victoria, Australia. Remote access, extremely poor roads and high mobilisation costs made more traditional CSM and deep mixing methods cost prohibitive. The dam required a redesign to raise the wall by 2.0m to increase water storage. Additionally, the dam required additional stabilisation to reduce the risk of liquefaction during an earthquake event. Soil testing indicated loose, cohesionless, high permeability soils to a depth of 3.0 to 3.5m across the toe of the wall. This resulted in high dam seepage through the toe of dam wall potentially causing the factor of safety during a seismic event to decrease to a dangerous level. A number of laboratory trials were completed to determine the mix ratio of cement required to improve the strength of the saturated, liquefiable soil. Wagstaff Piling was responsible for achieving the required soil/cement strength and mix depth on site. As the ground conditions were too soft for conventional soil mixing equipment, an excavator mounted Mitsui road header was modified to fit a 20 tonne excavator. A purpose built remote batching plant was set up on more stable ground approximately 200m from the wall and utilised for preparation of cement and water slurry for supply to the machine. As the ground was too soft to support the excavator, the progressively improved ground was used as the working platform. Both wet grab sampling and in situ testing was undertaken to determine the UCS of the improved soil. These results indicated several variations in the results due to size effects.

 article #2040; publication #1013 (DM-2015)