Instrumentation and Monitoring - Monitoring of Tailings Dam

Western Australia, Australia

Enabling automated monitoring and early warning

Calibre QuadR was commissioned to undertake engineering design of an early warning system and installation of in-situ instrumentation to measure changes to the dam condition.

The outcomes of the geotechnical assessment undertaken by Calibre QuadR comprised the definition of trigger levels corresponding to different levels of dam geotechnical stability, and considers variation in the dam hydrogeological condition, area seismicity, and the dam physical conditions.

Key requirements

  • Implement, schedule and record surveillance activities to monitor design, construction, and operating vulnerabilities. The level of precision and frequency of surveillance provides early detection of deviations from required conditions.
  • Have automated monitoring and emergency warning systems to enable evacuation under the identified dam break and inundation scenarios.

Project solution

Our geotechnics team considered the following efforts to address project requirements:

    • Desk study and review of the existing geotechnical information
    • Undertake two-dimensional Finite Element groundwater seepage assessment
    • Undertake slope stability assessment, incorporating the seepage assessment findings, to predict the dam embankment slope stability
    • Develop geotechnical definition for a range of TARP trigger levels related to various types of geotechnical dam failure modes
    • Develop geotechnical monitoring and trigger action response plan corresponding to each trigger level
    • Provide a discussion on the adequacy of existing geotechnical instrumentation to form the early warning system
    • Recommendations for additional instrumentation to be installed


    Calibre QuadR delivered the geotechnical assessment report including all required stability analysis under different water levels and seismic conditions. TARP trigger level has been defined in accordance with the clients' standards. The installation of a variety of geotechnical instrumentations has been recommended to address required surveillance equipment.

    *Image provided is not of the project, but a stock tailing dam




    Seb Norris

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