A Study on the Effect of Implementing Waterproof Membrane on Reduction of Water Seepage from Earthen Dams (Case Study: Shahid Madani Earthen Dam, Tabriz, Iran)

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Abstract. It is a major concern in engineering to evaluate the seepage rate for controlling earthen dams. With regard to the ever-increasing construction of earthen dams in Iran, it seems inevitable to make accurate assessments of the stability and leakage of water in order to achieve optimal operation and prevent possible problems. The seepage analysis in designing a dam is important in terms of stability and safety. Because the flow of water in the dam body and under the foundation causes pore pressure and seepage force to exceed allowable limits, where the stability of the dam body and foundation materials will face several problems such as piping and internal erosion of backfill and foundation materials, which will eventually lead to the destruction of the dam. Several engineering methods have been developed for precisely analyzing the seepage rate and estimating the output rate and pore water pressures generated at any part of the dam body and foundation, one of which is the most widely used numerical method known as "finite elements". In order to investigate the leakage of water from the dam and stability of its slope, the Shahid Madani Dam in Tabriz was selected as case study. This dam is located five kilometers from the city of Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran. The specifications of the dam were inserted as input date into software Seep/W and Slope/W, which are the basis for Seep/W numerical finite element method and the basis for Slope/w limit equilibrium method. The results showed that the rate of seepage in the earthen dam fall within the allowable limit. Moreover, the stability of embankments fulfills the factor of safety with regard to the type of material used.


seepage, earthen dam, finite elements, Seep/w, Slope/w

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