Analysis of an arch dam affected by an alkali-silicia reactionBelesar, Spain
The arch dam of Belesar, designed by the engineer Luciano Yordi, was constructed in the early 1960s in the course of the Miño River, and was built to feed a hydroelectric power station. It has a maximum height of 130 m and a crown length of about 275 m. The maximum capacity of the reservoir is 655 hm³. Several physical magnitudes, such as water height, temperature and horizontal displacement, are systematically measured by the monitoring system of the dam. The dam is affected by an alkali-silica reaction (a quite common problem in large mass-concrete structures that were built at that time), which causes upstream displacements and stress-increases in the structure.
A FEM advanced structural analysis was carried out, using viscoelastic materials and orthotropic geochemical damping to reproduce the real monitored behaviour and to allow prediction as to how the dam’s condition will evolve.