It is widely accepted that monitoring programs are important for dam safety. Monitoring programs provide the information necessary to understanding the on-going performance of the dam, as well as the ability to detect a change in this performance, which can be critical in identifying the need to take actions to avoid the consequences of a dam failure.
Monitoring programs generally consist of visual observations and measurements of specific parameters used by trained personnel to evaluate how the dam is performing, and to detect conditions of concern that may indicate a developing failure mode. The methods of making the physical measurements vary from manual instrument readings to automated data acquisition systems. The best approach will depend upon the monitoring needs. On-going evaluation of the monitoring results is also very important for a successful monitoring program. The key is to manage the data and present the results in a manner that is convenient and understandable for the reviewer. This includes a comparison of the measured or observed results with the expected performance for the dam. There are many tools that are currently available to assist with the measurement, collection, management, presentation, and evaluation of the monitoring results. The most appropriate tool will depend upon the needs of the users.
The objectives of this course are to provide the participants with a general understanding of 1) how instrumentation and data collection/management tools can be used to improve a dam safety monitoring program, 2) the tools that are currently available and how to apply them, 3) how to use a system design approach to successfully implement a monitoring system, and 4) guidance for installing, operating, and maintaining a monitoring system.
Barry K. Myers, P.E.
President, Engineered Monitoring Solutions
Barry K. Myers, P.E., president of Engineered Monitoring Solutions, has 26 years of experience in the planning, design, and implementation of performance monitoring and early warning systems for critical civil infrastructure. The types of civil infrastructure have included dams, lock structures, landslides, bridges, buildings, underground construction, highways, and watersheds. Much of his experience has been in dam safety monitoring which has included performing potential failure modes analyses, developing monitoring programs, installing instrumentation, designing and installing data collection programs including automated data acquisition systems, and implementing data management/presentation tools. He has also been responsible for the geotechnical design of remediation to improve the seepage and seismic performance of numerous existing earth embankment dams. Mr. Myers is a licensed professional engineer in Oregon and Washington. He has a Bachelors Degree in civil engineering and a Masters in geotechnical engineering. Mr. Myers is a member of several professional organizations including ASDSO, ASCE, ACEC, EWB, and USSD where he is currently serving as a member of the committee on Monitoring of Dams and Their Foundations. He is the author of over 30 technical papers and presentations including participating as an invited speaker to the ICOLD 20th Congress on the subject of Optimization of Dam Monitoring Systems.