Arch Dams and Hydropower

In the foothills of most of the major mountain ranges in the continental United States there are many Arch Dams and Intake-Outflow towers that have been built shortly after the turn of the 20th century.

Most of these structures were constructed of unreinforced concrete and are inherently vulnerable to newly defined seismic hazards and increases of probable maximum flood events. Contributing to the vulnerability of these structures is aging of the concrete structure that comes from initial poor construction due to limited knowledge at the time of construction, alkali aggregate reaction, AAR, and flaking, sloughing and general degradation due to many years of freeze-thaw cycles.

Most of these structures are components of extended power and water supply projects following rivers up through increasing mountain elevations. These dams either impound headwater or tailwater pools for local hydroelectric plants or serve as reregulating reservoirs that discharge flows downstream as needed.

ANATECH, a Structural Integrity Associates company is experienced in providing nonlinear evaluations of both unreinforced concrete dams and intake towers to evaluate the structural vulnerabilities of the as-built structure as well as incorporating design modifications and assessing the efficacy of retrofit options. We have provided analytic support to several utilities evaluating their portfolio of aging infrastructure.