Clogging of piezometer filters as indicator of impaired permeability of rock-fill embankments

Authors: Maksimov D.A.

The article reviews the mechanism of permeability irregularity in a rock-fill embankment body as a result of removal of particles of the structure due to imbalance of confining and shear forces applied to these particles. Since the particles displaced by the seepage flow are deposited on filters of piezometers, it is assumed that clogging of the filters can serve as an indicator of the initiation and development of local permeability irregularity in rock-fill hydraulic structures. To confirm this assumption, the author has analyzed the integrated survey data on dams of tailings storage at a dressing plant in the Murmansk Region. The reconnaissance survey has detected a clogged and silted piezometer. Express pouring has shown impaired permeability of this piezometer as compared with the selected reference piezometer. GPR surveys of the dam have revealed heterogeneity zones below the level of seepage water, which allows relating the heterogeneities with permeation processes in the body of the hydraulic structure. The visual observation has found out a water outlet at the bottom of the dam, in the cross section with the clogged piezometer. The outlet was accompanied by suffosion removal of particles of the structure material. Alongside with the local permeation irregularity, suffusion caused settling of particles on the piezometer filter, with its resultant clogging and siltation. Thus, the growth of the local permeability irregularity is accompanied with clogging of filter of piezometer. So, the piezometer filter clogging can be considered as an indicator of impaired permeability and its development in the body of a rock-fill hydraulic structure.

Keywords: hydraulic structure, dam, clogging, piezometer, permeation, suffusion, visual observation, georadar.
For citation:

Maksimov D. A. Clogging of piezometer filters as indicator of impaired permeability of rock-fill embankments. MIAB. Mining Inf. Anal. Bull. 2021;(5—1):270—279. [In Russ]. DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2021_51_0_270.

Issue number: 5
Year: 2021
Page number: 270-279
ISBN: 0236-1493
UDK: 626-1/-2:626.134’212
DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2021_51_0_270
Article receipt date: 27.01.2021
Date of review receipt: 25.03.2021
Date of the editorial board′s decision on the article′s publishing: 10.04.2021
About authors:

Maksimov D. A., Scientific researcher, Mining Institute Kola Science Centre RAS. Apatity, Russia,, Mining Institute — Subdivision of the Federal Research Centre «Kola Science Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences», Apatity, Russia.

For contacts:

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