Introduction: History of Gate Failures and Overview of Vibration Mechanisms

Introduction: History of Gate Failures and Overview of Vibration Mechanisms

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3079-4.ch001
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In this chapter a summary of the historical record of dam and gate failures is compiled. Once the reader is familiar with the failure statistics, a concise summary of the prerequisite topics such as press-shut and press-open devices needed to understand the analysis of gate failures is presented. Subsequently, a non-mathematical conceptual descriptions of various excitation mechanisms, such as discharge fluctuations, shear layers instability, nappe instability, coupled-mode long-span gate instability, eccentricity instability and coupled-mode Tainter gate instability that excite gate vibration are presented to set the stage for more analytical treatment in subsequent chapters.
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Overview Of Historical Record Of Dam And Gate Failures

Hydraulic gates are used to contain municipal water reservoirs, regulate water levels for hydroelectric power plants, and control discharge to minimize large scale flooding. The failure of these hydraulic gates can be disastrous, in terms of potential loss of life, potential destruction of downstream property, potential loss of generating capacity, as well as lost reservoir capacity in regions with limited seasonal rainfall. Ultimately, gate failure has the potential to lead to destruction of the entire dam. Gate failure is included in the statistics of dam failures or dam incidents, even when the failure of the gate does not result in the destruction of the dam. Gate failure is grouped with other spillway issues, and, thus, it is not obvious precisely how many dam failures result from or are initiated by gate failures.

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