Asset management and safety assessment of levees and earthen dams through comprehensive real-time field monitoring

Tarek Abdoun, V. Bennett, T. Desrosiers, J. Simm, M. Barendse

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Assessing the health of and maintaining civil infrastructure has been an increased concern in the wake of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the summer 2007 flood events in the UK. The variability of properties within geotechnical systems makes predictions of soil behavior extremely difficult, especially when soil models are not calibrated with field-measured performance. Unfortunately the current state of the art in geotechnical systemhealth assessment is either based on very expensive monitoring systems for real-time information or on periodicmeasurement of ground surface displacements. Accordingly, a need has arisen for a system capable of in situ, real-time monitoring of levees, embankments, and other earthen structures. The work presented herein highlights the development of novel, affordable sensing technologies for use in a framework to monitor, manage and ensure the safety of geotechnical infrastructure. MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems)-based in-place inclinometer system, Measurand’s ShapeAccelArray (SAA), is now established as a sensing tool for simultaneous measurement of 3D soil acceleration and 3D ground deformation up to a depth of one hundred meters, with an accuracy of ±1.5 mm per 30 m. Each sensor array is connected to a wireless sensor node to enable real-time monitoring as well as remote sensor configuration. This system is now being further developed to include digitally integrated pore pressure measurement in the form of vibrating wire piezometers equipped with microprocessors (called SAAPs). The SAAPs are able to convert vibrating wire data to digital data downhole, and they integrate easily into the SAA system. In situ testing was conducted in a levee in England subjected to significant tidal loading (up to 6 m of fluctuation during spring tides) through collaboration with the European Union’s UrbanFlood project. In addition to the SAAs and SAAPs installed in three sections of the levee, the site was also instrumented with other sensors from Alert Solutions and TenCate, providing values for comparison. The likelihood of this levee to experience deformation and the density of instrumentation installed in the bank made this the ideal location to test the new SAAP system. The additional insight into subsurface behavior provided by the SAAPs is integral in the development of a comprehensive systemfor monitoring andmanagement of civil infrastructure. The preliminary testing indicates the suitability of this new multi-parameter system for inclusion in a multi-scale monitoring and health assessment framework, which will be implemented in New Orleans, LA in 2012.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)833-843
    Number of pages11
    JournalGeotechnical and Geological Engineering
    Volume31
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

    Fingerprint

    dams (hydrology)
    Levees
    Asset management
    safety assessment
    assets
    Dams
    levee
    dam
    safety
    sensor
    sensors (equipment)
    Monitoring
    monitoring
    infrastructure
    Soils
    wire
    soil
    Health
    piezometer
    Wire

    Keywords

    • Displacement
    • Levee
    • Long-term
    • MEMS
    • Monitoring
    • Pore pressure

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Architecture
    • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
    • Soil Science
    • Geology

    Cite this

    Asset management and safety assessment of levees and earthen dams through comprehensive real-time field monitoring. / Abdoun, Tarek; Bennett, V.; Desrosiers, T.; Simm, J.; Barendse, M.

    In: Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, Vol. 31, No. 3, 01.01.2012, p. 833-843.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abdoun, Tarek ; Bennett, V. ; Desrosiers, T. ; Simm, J. ; Barendse, M. / Asset management and safety assessment of levees and earthen dams through comprehensive real-time field monitoring. In: Geotechnical and Geological Engineering. 2012 ; Vol. 31, No. 3. pp. 833-843.
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