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Proceedings Paper

Applied geophysical techniques to evaluate earth dams and foundations
Author(s): Jose L. Llopis; Michael K. Sharp; Dwain K. Butler; Donald E. Yule
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Paper Abstract

Mill Creek Dam, near Walla Walla, Washington has experienced anomalous seepage since its first filling in 1941. Various attempts to abate and control the seepage, including construction of a concrete wall, have not been completely successful. Construction of the cutoff wall reduced the seepage by about 30 percent, from 33 cubic feet per second to 22 cubic feet per second, and downstream saturated farmland was reduced by 56 percent. However, there are indications of increased seepage pressures in a conglomerate formation in the right abutment. A comprehensive, integrated geophysics investigation of the right abutment area of the dam was conducted to detect and map anomalous conditions and assist in the evaluation of remedial measures. The geophysics program consisted of microgravity, ground penetrating radar, seismic reflection, electromagnetic conductivity, and electrical resistivity surveying. Results of the program indicate anomalous conditions extending from the reservoir area through the right abutment. The aspects of the program planning leading to technique selection and field procedures are emphasized, as well as the role of different geophysical techniques in defining the nature of anomalous condition.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 1995
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2457, Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Structures and Dams, (12 May 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.209402
Show Author Affiliations
Jose L. Llopis, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (United States)
Michael K. Sharp, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (United States)
Dwain K. Butler, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (United States)
Donald E. Yule, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2457:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Structures and Dams
Soheil Nazarian; Larry D. Olson, Editor(s)

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