Numerical investigation of underground drain radius, depth and location on uplift pressure reduction (Case study: Tabriz diversion dam)

Farzin Salmasi1*,  Behnam Mansuri2


Water penetration from beneath of built structures on permeable soils causes uplift force along the contact of structure with foundation. This uplift force reduces hydraulic structure stability. Typically, these instabilities occur due to under-pressure development (uplift force), gradual inner degradation of foundation material (piping) or sand boil phenomenon. Thus, it seems necessary to calculate the pressure applied to the contact surface of the dam. One method for preventing piping phenomenon, reduction in exit gradient as well as decrease of uplift force beneath diversion dams includes implementation of weep hole. This study aims to study the effect of radius, depth and location of pipe drains under stilling basin upon how much uplift force decreases. The benefit of this study in agricultural field for soil and water engineers is to have a safe design of lined canals, weirs or diversion dams. To do this, numerical simulation of Tabriz diversion dam with Geo-Studio software was carried out. Results showed that application of drain pipe under the structure reduced uplift force respect to without drain under the structure. Increasing of drain radius; caused reduction of uplift pressure more but increased of seepage flow slightly. Installation of drain in upper part of stilling basin had a tendency to decrease uplift pressure more. Existence of drain near the stilling basin bottom caused in more reducing of uplift pressure than of installation of it in deeper depth.

 Keywords: Drain, Geo-Studio, Seepage, Uplift pressure, Weep hole