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Seismic Stability Evaluation of Walters Dam, North Carolina


Located on the Pigeon River in Haywood County, North Carolina, Walters Dam is a variable-radius arch dam with a crest length of about 900 feet and a maximum height of 192 feet. Walters Dam was built in 1929 as 13 independent cantilever monoliths, each 50 feet wide and separated by construction joints 8-foot wide. After completion of the cantilever monoliths, all construction joints were filled by concrete. The Walters Dam spillway is located at the center of the dam and is controlled by 14 tainter gates, each 24 feet wide and 10 feet high.

As a subcontract to ARCADIS Geraghty & Miller, Inc. of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Quest Structures performed earthquake ground motion studies and static and seismic safety evaluation for Walters Arch Dam. This work was carried out as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) five-year dam safety inspection report.

The studies included estimates of the maximum earthquake ground motions, development of acceleration time histories, and three-dimensional static and dynamic analyses of the dam. Three-dimensional finite-element models included the concrete arch dam, foundation rock, and the impounded water. Various loading conditions up to and including the PMF as well as the seismic loads were considered and analyzed. Evaluation for the extreme loading combinations consisted of four time-history dynamic analyses, each using a 3-component set of acceleration time histories as the seismic input.





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