Assessment of factors that can contribute to earth dam cracking and slumping in northeast BC

In northeast British Columbia, earth dams have been constructed to hold water for the oil and gas industry using locally available soils having high clay and silt content. These soils tend to have low shear strength and are susceptible to volume changes from wetting-drying and freeze-thaw cycles, which can lead to increased risk for cracking, slumping, and piping issues in dam embankments. The student intern will collect soil samples, measure the embankment geometry, perform laboratory testing to determine specific material properties, and use finite element software to perform stability analyses of selected dams. The objective is to propose remediation and stabilization techniques for existing dams with potential stability issues, and to develop best practices for construction of dams in this region to minimize risk of failure.

Intern: 
Kalie Smith
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dwayne Tannant
Province: 
British Columbia
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