Alternative methods for collecting data for photogrammetric crack mapping of interior cavities of buttress dams: Development of methodology and demonstration at Stony Gorge Dam

Project ID: 22096
Principal Investigator: Matthew Klein
Research Topic: Condition Assessment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2022 and 2023
Keywords: None

Research Question

At this time, there is not an efficient and safe method for inspecting the interior cavities of slab and buttress dams. The most commonly used method would be combining rope access with photo documentation and photogrammetry however, the costs and safety risks associated with the activity are very high.

Thus, the basic research question is:
1. Are there alternative methods for inspecting the interior cavities of slab and buttress dams that can be demonstrated to be more efficient and safer than utilizing rope access?

Secondary questions that emerge that could be answered by this research include:
2. Can the alternative method provide as sufficient an inspection as can be performed by rope access?
3. Can the identified alternative result be applied to other slab and buttress dams?
4. Can the knowledge gained be used to inspect other similar features that aren't considered a slab and buttress dam such as enclosed inaccessible features and confined spaces?

Need and Benefit

This proposal develops new tools, methods, practices, and strategies to inspecting interior cavities of slab and buttress dams by researching and developing the most economical and safe method in a controlled laboratory setting and demonstrating the result at Stony Gorge Dam. It was discussed with Bobbi Merten (S&T Program Research Coordinator for Water Infrastructure and with John Whitler (S&T Program Coordinator)

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 6/22/20