Hydraulic fracturing of rock-fill dam

Jun-Jie WANG, Jun-Gao ZHU, H. Mroueh, C. F. Chiu

Abstract


The condition in which hydraulic fracturing in core of earth-rock fill dam maybe induced, the mechanism by which the reason of hydraulic fracturing canbe explained, and the failure criterion by which the occurrence of hydraulicfracturing can be determined, were investigated. The condition dependson material properties such as, cracks in the core and low permeability ofcore soil, and “water wedging” action in cracks. An unsaturated core soiland fast impounding are the prerequisites for the formation of “waterwedging” action. The mechanism of hydraulic fracturing can be explainedby fracture mechanics. The crack propagation induced by water pressuremay follow any of mode I, mode II and mixed mode I-II. Based on testingresults of a core soil, a new criterion for hydraulic fracturing was suggested,from which mechanisms of hydraulic fracturing in the core of rock-fill damwere discussed. The results indicated that factors such as angle betweencrack surface and direction of principal stress, local stress state at thecrack, and fracture toughness KIC of core soil may largely affect theinduction of hydraulic fracturing and the mode of the propagation of thecrack.The condition in which hydraulic fracturing in core of earth-rock fill dam maybe induced, the mechanism by which the reason of hydraulic fracturing canbe explained, and the failure criterion by which the occurrence of hydraulicfracturing can be determined, were investigated. The condition dependson material properties such as, cracks in the core and low permeability ofcore soil, and “water wedging” action in cracks. An unsaturated core soiland fast impounding are the prerequisites for the formation of “waterwedging” action. The mechanism of hydraulic fracturing can be explainedby fracture mechanics. The crack propagation induced by water pressuremay follow any of mode I, mode II and mixed mode I-II. Based on testingresults of a core soil, a new criterion for hydraulic fracturing was suggested,from which mechanisms of hydraulic fracturing in the core of rock-fill damwere discussed. The results indicated that factors such as angle betweencrack surface and direction of principal stress, local stress state at thecrack, and fracture toughness KIC of core soil may largely affect theinduction of hydraulic fracturing and the mode of the propagation of thecrack.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1260/175095407781421595

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