Analysis of the Oroville Dam Spillway Collapse

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Analysis of the Oroville Dam Spillway Collapse

#1  Postby felltoearth » May 20, 2021 12:49 pm

Fascinating



February 2017 saw one of the most serious dam-related engineering incidents in history with the failure of the service spillway at Oroville Dam. Whether they realized it or not, the people living and working downstream of Oroville Dam put their trust in the engineers, operators, and regulators to keep them safe and sound against disaster. In this case, that trust was broken. This video provides a summary of the event, including an explanation of the engineering details behind the failure.

Independent Forensic Team Report: https://damsafety.org/sites/default/fil ... -05-18.pdf

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Re: Analysis of the Oroville Dam Spillway Collapse

#2  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » May 20, 2021 1:24 pm

Spillways like this always scare me, not because they may fail, but because I've seen so many little steelhead die going over them on their way out to sea.

I thought I should make the topic about myself. :)

Will watch video now.
what a terrible image
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Re: Analysis of the Oroville Dam Spillway Collapse

#3  Postby felltoearth » May 20, 2021 1:28 pm

Rachel Bronwyn wrote:Spillways like this always scare me, not because they may fail, but because I've seen so many little steelhead die going over them on their way out to sea.

I thought I should make the topic about myself. :)

Will watch video now.

Those are older dam designs? Aren’t there designs that avoid this?


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Re: Analysis of the Oroville Dam Spillway Collapse

#4  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » May 20, 2021 5:21 pm

At least in BC, we still rely heavily on this design namely because no one wants to spend money to make seaward passage fish-safe. The only way anadromous species can get to sea is going over the spillway, which forces them to dive to access the outlet and occurs at a very high velocity. Following a rockslide, the spillway of one such dam on the North Shore shot little steelhead down the spillway, directly onto a bunch of boulders. We had to drill holes in boulders and fill them with expanding powder to crack them into smaller bits to be hauled away.

The gold standard is spillway weirs, which enable fish to pass near the surface at a lower acceleration. Around here, you only see them south of the border on the Columbia though. They actually spend money on fish passage. I think Oroville had an emergency spillway weir, mind you.
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