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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 732325, 14 pages
Research Article

Safety Monitoring Index of High Concrete Gravity Dam Based on Failure Mechanism of Instability

Shaowei Wang,1,2,3 Chongshi Gu,1,2,3 and Tengfei Bao1,2,3

1State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
2National Engineering Research Center of Water Resources Efficient Utilization and Engineering Safety, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
3College of Water-Conservancy and Hydropower, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China

Received 8 September 2013; Revised 14 November 2013; Accepted 14 November 2013

Academic Editor: Xiao-Wei Ye

Copyright © 2013 Shaowei Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Traditional methods of establishing dam safety monitoring index are mostly based on the observation data. According to the performance of dam-foundation system under the experienced loads, alarm values and extreme values are predicted for monitoring quantities. As for some dams, the potential most unfavorable loads may not yet have appeared, and dam bearing capacity may also decrease over time. Therefore, monitoring index determined by these methods can not reflect whether the dam will break or not. Based on the finite element method, to study the progressive instability failures of high concrete gravity dams under the failure modes of material strength degradation or uncertainty and extreme environmental loads during operation, methods of strength reduction and overloading are, respectively, used. Typical stages in the instability processes are identified by evaluation indicators of dam displacement, the connectivity of yield zones, and the yield volume ratio of dam concretes; then instability safety monitoring indexes are hierarchically determined according to these typical symptoms. At last, a case study is performed to give a more detailed introduction about the process of establishing safety monitoring index for high concrete gravity dams based on the failure mechanism of instability, and three grades of monitoring index related to different safety situations are established for this gravity dam.