Frozen Core Dam Performance: Four Years Post Construction

Author(s): 
Megan Miller, Maritz Rykaart
Date: 
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
First presented: 
Canadian Dam Association Conference
Type: 
Published paper
Category: 
Geotechnical

As part of the tailings management system for the Doris Project in Nunavut Canada, a frozen core dam was constructed in 2012 on a foundation of thick ice-rich, saline glacial marine silt and clay, and fine sand. This dam will not have a tailings beach against it, and as a result has been designed as a water retaining dam for its design life of 20 years. Environmental containment is provided by a frozen core keyed-in, and permanently bonded with the underlying permafrost. To ensure this bond, the engineered (non-saline) frozen core must maintain a temperature below -2°C, and the underlying saline permafrost foundation must be at or below -8°C, under normal operating conditions. To ensure continued successful performance of the dam it has been rigorously instrumented and this paper describe the dam performance four years post construction.

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