Marr, WA 2015, 'Performance monitoring as a risk management tool in dam safety', in PM Dight (ed.), FMGM 2015: Proceedings of the Ninth Symposium on Field Measurements in Geomechanics
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 63-88, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1508_0.4_Marr
Instrumentation and monitoring of dams, levees and impoundments plays an important role helping to manage safety and risk. The technologies to instrument and monitor have experienced remarkable change and growth over the past 20 years. This paper summarises the current state-of-practice of instrumentation and monitoring for dam, levee and impoundment safety. The paper presents and discusses reasons to monitor performance, recent technological advances in instrumentation and monitoring, and some recommended practices.
Instrumentation and monitoring, combined with vigilant visual observation, can provide early warning for many conditions that contribute to dam failures and incidents. But instrumentation and monitoring must be carefully planned and executed to meet defined objectives. Data must be conscientiously collected, reduced, tabulated and plotted in a timely manner to determine what it indicates about the safety of the dam. The monitoring team must understand the significance of changes and trends. They should have action levels defined for taking action and a contingency plan in place to carry out when required.
A principal theme of this paper is the important role of instrumentation and monitoring in helping to identify and manage risk associated with potential failure of these structures. When considered as a part of a risk management programme, the role and value of an instrumentation and monitoring programme becomes clearer to all involved.
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