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Hydro-mechanical Experiments On Suffusion Under Long-term Large Hydraulic Heads

Yulong Luo, Liang Qiao, Xing-xing Liu, Mei-li Zhan, Jin-chang Sheng
Published 2012 · Geology
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The long-term large hydraulic head in flood season is the main cause of suffusion failure or dam break, while the suffusion failure mechanism in this case has not been specially studied. First, a newly designed hydro-mechanical coupling suffusion apparatus was introduced. Second, two short-term suffusion experiments under different confining pressures were carried out to determine the suitable large hydraulic heads. Finally, four experiments on suffusion under long-term large hydraulic heads and different confining pressures were performed to investigate the influences of the long-term large hydraulic heads and the confining pressures on the evolution of suffusion. The results indicate that: (1) The signs of suffusion failure in the short-term experiments are the sudden decrease in hydraulic gradient and the sharp increase in eroded mass. While the flow rate in the long-term experiments appearing suffusion failures increases rapidly with the decrease in hydraulic gradient. (2) The suffusion failure in the long-term large hydraulic head experiment is more likely to happen and much more serious than that in the short-term experiment. The long-term large hydraulic head can reduce the suffusion failure hydraulic gradient significantly and increase the eroded mass dramatically. The results gained here provide a deeper understanding on the suffusion failure caused by the rapid increase in the high water level upstream the hydraulic earth structures in flood season.

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