The Oroville Dam failure highlights a growing concern in the United States.
This morning, CBS News reported that the United States has 85,000 dams and levees. Most of those were designed and constructed in the 1950's through the 1960's and are now past due and are in danger of failing.
The SuperSting RES/IP/SP system has been used successfully to determine location of leaks in dams, location of sand/gravel zones which are porous and offer little protection from hydraulic pressure.
Advanced Geosciences, Inc. is and has been actively working on several research projects with various US government agenices to improve early detection of dam/levee failure before it happens.
Case History: Amistad Dam
In 1996 AGI was asked to visit the Amistad hydro-electric dam on the famous Rio Grande bordering Mexico and Texas to perform a field demonstration of the newly designed Sting Resistivity instrument along with the automated Swift electrode cables.
The dam had been leaking for several decades but the problem had gotten worse to the point that several large cave openings (sinkholes) appeared on the surface. Water was rushing down into the karst subsurface creating whirlpools like you see in your bathtub drain. The dam became empty.
The field demonstration was succusseful in locating a known water leak (unknown to us) in the dam's grout curtain. Two automated resistivity systems were purchased by the Mexican dam authority, Comision de Federal Electricidad (CFE).
The Amistad Dam never went to a point of failure because of the underlying Karst geology was mitigated before trouble reared its ugly head. Today the reservoir plays host to recreation, fishing and a renewed energy source.
Case History: Broken Levee's in the wake of Tropical Storm Katrina
Large amount of levee's and dams had to be investigated quickly to access the damage and also prevent any further problems that could cause flooding again.
The Army Corps of Engineers worked with AGI staff to detail the damage done by Katrina through the use of the SuperSting Marine Resistivity system.