Analysis of Failed Teton Dam

Analysis of Failed Teton Dam
Authors : Dr. Debabrata Giri, Tanmaya Kumar Nayak
Publication Date: 06-09-2016


Author(s):  Dr. Debabrata Giri, Tanmaya Kumar Nayak

Published in:   International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology

License:  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Website: www.ijert.org

Volume/Issue:   Volume. 5 - Issue. 09 , September - 2016

e-ISSN:   2278-0181

 DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.17577/IJERTV5IS090122


The failure of Teton Dam in Idaho in June, 1976, during the first filling of the reservoir, was a significant event for geotechnical engineers concerned with the design and construction of earth dams, simply because no dam of such a height (approximately 300 ft above stream bed) had previously failed. Thus the failure was both dramatic and of considerable importance. This paper reviews the events leading to the failure of Teton Dam to determine the cause of failure. Conclusions are presented regarding the probable trigger mechanisms which initiated the failure. In addition, an investigation of the area by geologist of the U.S. Geologic Survey indicated that it was seismically active: five earthquakes had occurred within 30 miles (50 km) of the dam site in the previous five years, two of which had been of significant magnitude. As it was a finite slope structure which failed during the first filling of the reservoir, therefore, in order to review the causes of failure, slope stability analysis of this dam profile has been done under structural stability, seepage and seismic analysis. The aforesaid analyses are accomplished using several methods that are available for stability analysis of finite slopes. The Fellenius and Bishop methods were used. “The Teton Dam Failure – A Retrospective Review” was silent about the seismic effect of Teton dam. Hence the present paper emphasized the seismic analysis by Fellenius method. Seismic analysis conducted in this project confirms the failure of Teton dam due to earthquake forces, as the critical factor of safety so obtained in seepage analysis i.e. 1.43 is reduced to 0.97 in seismic analysis


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