Development of a decision support system for optimal instrumentation of concrete faced rockfill dams

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Turkey

Approval Date: 2016

Student: ONUR ARI



In this study, an algorithm for optimal design of instrumentation systems for concrete faced rockfill dams was developed. The aim of this algorithm is to determine the number and the location of individual instruments for stress monitoring. It was intended to develop a user-friendly and flexible algorithm that would be applicable in reliable and economic design of instrumentation systems for concrete faced rockfill dams. The first developmental step was the generation of a model cross-section for a concrete faced rockfill dam. Possible loadings were applied to this model cross-section. With the execution of a number of analyses for various dam heights via computer-assisted finite element analyses, some stress contours were obtained. These stress contours of different dam heights were analysed to end up with a representative stress distribution model. Then the governing dimensionless equations were formed for obtaining the magnitudes and location of different stress zones as a function of dam height. These zones provided information about the general trend of the overstressed areas. By expansion of the analyses, an algorithm for proper location and number of such equipment was obtained. An optimization algorithm to be used for horizontal placement of sensors in one of the standard sections were developed and the results were analysed. A vertical placement algorithm based on error minimization was also developed and two algorithms were combined. The final optimization scheme was demonstrated for a number of dams and the sensitivity of the algorithm was also analysed. It can be said that this optimization scheme provides a basis for the design of an instrumentation system for concrete faced rockfill dams considering both the economy and the effectiveness in terms of data quality of the instrumentation system.