Study on the Effect of Inclination of Cutoff Wall Beneath Gravity Dams on Uplift Force

Cutoff walls and drainage holes are a strategy for preventing piping or lowering the exit hydraulic pressure gradient or ground-water seepage. Cutoff walls in gravity dams are typically composed of concrete with a vertical geometry beneath the dam foundation. Engineers may choose an inclination of cutoff walls if it has a good influence on reducing uplift force. The goal of this work is to use the finite element method to explore the effectiveness of inclined cutoff walls under hydraulic structures, taking into account the influence of depth, location, and inclination angles of the cutoff wall (FEM). The efficiency of inclined cutoff walls positioned beneath a gravity dam is compared in this study. The cutoffs are oriented downstream and have angles ranging from 0 to 60 degrees in relation to the vertical direction. Cutoff walls with varied angles of inclination are employed in various places. The cutoff wall is at the heel (upstream) of the dam, resulting in the least amount of uplift force. Inclined walls with a set longitudinal cutoff wall placement lessen uplift force. An angled cutoff wall upstream of the dam has a significant influence on minimising uplift force. Although the inclined cutoff wall was able to lower the uplift force in the numerical simulation, it is crucial to highlight that building an inclined cutoff wall is more challenging than building a vertical cutoff wall. As a result, further research into inclined cutoff wall construction and application is required in future studies. An significant concern is estimating the project’s construction expenses.

Author(S) Details

Farzin Salmasi
Department of Water Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.

John Abraham
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, School of Engineering 2115 Summit Avenue St. Paul, Minnesota 55105, USA.

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