Explosive effects on earth dams

The general objective of this project is to study the behaviour of embankment dams under explosive detonation, and develop guidelines to retrofit/mitigate the effect of explosions on these facilities. More specifically the project will Exp-1investigate:

  1.  The explosive crater properties on embankments. The explosives will be detonated on the crest of the dam and on the slopes to establish the size of craters in relation to those on flat ground surfaces and to determine the effect of micro-cracking and micro-fissures on the permeability of the dam structure. Where the crater size leads to overtopping of the dam, the time to full breach (or erosion) of the dam structure will be investigated.
  2. It has been reported that the blast wave (shock) produced in the embankment dam leads to increased pore water pressure and a reduction in effective stress (liquefaction) in the soil. Reduction in effective stress on the other hand will lead to reduced shear strength of the embankment dam. The Exp-2relationship between explosive charge mass, location of detonation, and level of reduction in shear strength will be investigated and compared with available (design) shear strength to establish a level of safety available in embankment dam designs to resist explosion attacks.