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# PART 2 SITES EARTH SPILLWAY

EVALUATION

## B. Earth Spillway Integrity Analysis

b. Characterization of geologic materials:
iii. Characterizing the Headcut Erodibility Index (Kh)
3) for Cohesive Soils
SPECIALTY WORKSHOP:
SITES TRAINING AND
INTRODUCTION TO WINDAM

## ASDSO Dam Safety 2008

Objectives
State the common range of the Kh
parameter for cohesive soils
Identify plot of rate of headcut migration
versus Kh parameter and explain
sensitivity of plot to values of Kh
Using example soil data, assign a value to
the Kh parameter accurately
Identify tests used to characterize soils for
estimating the Kh parameter
Phase III Erosion Process
Phase 3 is the headcut advance that occurs
after establishment in Phase II

## Where dx/dt = rate of headcut advance

C A A0
dx
A = hydraulic attack dt
A0 = Attack threshold (no movement below
value)
C = Proportionality Coefficient
= -0.79 x ln(Kh) + 3.04 for Kh < 18.2 and
C = 0.75 for Kh > 18.2
Other Terms in dx/dt equation for
Phase III

A qH
1
3

1

1 3.23

3
A0 189 K h exp
2

ln(101 K h

Headcut - classical
EXPANDING HEADCUT

Rate of migration of
headcut primarily a
function of soil Kh
value
HEADCUT MIGRATION RATE

dX/dt
HEADCUT MIGRATION

dx/dt = C (A - Ao)
dX/dt = rate of headcut migration,
C = material-dependent
advance rate coefficient,

## A = hydraulic attack, and

Ao = material-dependent
threshold.
Headcut Advance Rate Versus Kh

80
Unit Discharge
Advance Rate of Headcut, feet per hour

## 70 cfs per foot = 100

60
Overfall Height (foot) = 12
50

40

30

20

10

0
0.00 2.00 4.00 6.00 8.00 10.00
Kh Value
Chapter 52, Appendix B
First,
determine if material is soil
or rock
ASTM D2488 provides limited
guidance.
Referto Chapter 52 for
Information on Rocks
Typical values for the Kh Factor
0.01
Soil
0.2
Weathered Rock
0.5
Soft or Jointed Rock
10
Hard Rock
Background

RQD Jr
K h M s J s
Jn Ja
Ms is the primary term that affects the
value of Kh for soil materials. The
other terms are more important for
rock. An exception might be blocky
clays.
Available Tools For Estimating
Kh
NEH 628, Chapter 52, Appendix B
Soil Catalog on SITES CD
Chapter 52, Appendix B - Soils

## If the PI greater than 10

Cohesive
If the PI is < 10, soil is
Cohesionless
Headcut Migration
The rate of headcut migration is
very sensitive to values of the Kh
factor in the lower ranges of the
value.
Equations for headcut advance put
into spreadsheet to evaluate
sensitivity
Demonstration of Influence of Kh on
predicted rate of migration of headcut
Examples developed from equations for headcut
migration shown in Chapter 51, Part 628, NRCS
First example is for relatively low unit discharge
of 20 cubic feet per second per foot width of
spillway Condition for critical depth of 2 feet

2 feet
Headcut Advance Rate Versus Kh

40
Unit Discharge
Advance Rate of Headcut, feet per hour

## 35 cfs per foot = 20

Soil
Weathered
30
Overfall Height (foot) = 8
Rock
25

20
Poor Quality
15
Rock
10

0
0.0 0.2 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0
Kh Value
Available Tools For
Estimating Kh

Spreadsheet
Uses soil properties from field and
laboratory tests or table estimates
NEH 628, Chapter 52, Appendix B
Soil Catalogue
Examples of Catalog Soils
Catalogue Soils are on SITES CD
Soil Catalog
Existing catalog for soils (assuming that
Kh value is < 0.2) is ten samples
Ten soils in catalog have Kh values from
0.01 to 0.17.
Catalog listings with Kh values of 0.2 and
above are weathered shale these have
Kh values of 0.2 0.5. Five Listings
Soil Catalogue
Soil descriptions are very brief
Some wording confusing example index
value based on laboratory strength
notation for nonplastic ML soil from
Oklahoma
Discussion on methods used for back-
computation of Kh value for soils
Photo
State USCS Description Kh
Number
1 Missouri SM Very loose sand with little bonding 0.01
Cohesionless. Index value based on laboratory
2 Oklahoma ML 0.02
strength test
3 Mississippi ML Some apparent bonding 0.03
4-5 Kansas CL Firm soil, fill 0.05
6 Kentucky ? Fill Debris spillway exit 0.05
7 Kentucky No CL soils
Firm soil
in cover
range in headcut
of 0.05upper
tomaterial
0.10 0.1
Medium dense loess near surface gully wall (Later
8 Mississippi ML 0.12
known to be highly dispersive)
9-10 Virginia GM Dense, some apparent bonding No lab tests 0.12
11 Michigan CL Stiff glacial till 0.16
12 OklahomaNo CL
soils insoil
Stiff range of 0.12 to 0.16
in Headcut 0.17
13-14 Kansas Sh Decomposed shale representative diameter of 1 inch 0.2
15-16 Kansas Sh Decomposed shale representative diameter of 0.8 inch 0.2
17-18 Kansas SH Decomposed shale estimated rep. diamter of 1 inch 0.27
19-20 Arkansas Sap Hillside overburden (saprolite/colluvium) island area 0.3
21-22 Arkansas Sh Disintegrated Shale, representative diam. Of 3 inch 0.5
Kh 0.05
Twin Caney 17-34, KS
CL, firm, soil fill;headcut
Kh 0.05
East Fork Pond River 7B, KY
Debris fill; spillway exit (probably CL)
Kh 0.10
East Fork Pond River 9A, KY
CL, firm, soil cover in headcut; upper material only considered in Kh
determination
Kh 0.16
Misteguay 4, MI
CL, stiff, glacial till; headcut
Material Strength Number, Ms
For Cohesive Soils
Ms = 0.78 (UCS)1.09, where UCS is
unconfined compressive strength
Use Table 52.3
Needlessly complicated use simpler
methods (later)
Confusion on terms related to
unconfined compressive strength
The distinction is important because it is a factor
of 2

qu
P
qu 2
A
1

qu
Confusion on terms related to
unconfined compressive strength
When an unconfined compression test
is performed in a laboratory, the value
usually reported is the unconfined
compressive stress applied to the
sample at failure
When a field vane shear test is
performed, the value reported is
usually the shear strength of the soil
(1/2 the qu strength).
Conditions for unconfined
compressive strength
Should unconfined compression tests be
routinely performed at the insitu water
content or should the samples be
saturated prior to testing? Values will
depend strongly on this factor. The
unconfined strength of a saturated
sample could be that of a sample
tested at 90 percent of saturation.
Conditions for unconfined
compressive strength

## Unconfined compression tests are

inadvisably performed on low PI
soils. High strengths may be
measured from negative pore
pressures that occur during the
test. Soils with PIs less than 15
should be tested in a submersed
condition to avoid this problem
Table 52-3
Consistency Unconfined Unconfined Ms
Compressive Compressive
Strength (kPa) Strength (psf)

## Very soft < 40 < 835 < 0.02

Soft 40 80 835-1,670 0.02 0.05

## Very stiff 300 625 6,265 13,053 0.20 0.45

Relation of consistency to
unconfined compressive strength

## Table 5 in Chapter 52 shows

different range of unconfined
strengths for consistency than other
standard geotechnical references
See Table from Terzaghi as
Example
Table 52-3
Consistency Table 52-3 Terzaghi
Unconfined Unconfined
Compressive Compressive
Strength (psf) Strength (psf)

## Very soft < 835 < 500

Soft 835-1,670 500 1,000

## Very stiff 6,265 13,053 4,000 8,000

Confusion on units related to
unconfined compressive strength
Table 52-3 employs units of kilopascals
(kPa) while Table 5 in Appendix B uses units
of mega Pascals (mPa).
While this is only a conversion factor of
1,000, confusion could still result,
particularly when laboratories report results
in pounds per square foot or pounds per
square inch
Undrained Shear Strength
Only applicable for quick loading
of slowly permeable saturated
soils
Undrained Shear
Strength
Mistake
to perform tests on more
permeable material such as silts
Unrealistically
high strengths on
these materials from negative
pore pressures during load
application
Very Stiff Clays with PI > 12, Overconsolidated
Undrained Shear Strength > 2,000 psf

2,000
psf

## Undrained Strength, c = qu/2, psf

Undrained Shear Strength Scale, after Terzaghi and Peck, 2nd Edition, page 30
Stiff Clays with PI > 12 overconsolidated
Undrained Shear Strength = 1,000 - 2,000 psf

2,000 1,000
psf psf

## Undrained Strength, c = qu/2, psf

Undrained Shear Strength Scale, after Terzaghi and Peck, 2nd Edition, page 30
Medium Clays with PI > 12,
Slightly Overconsolidated
Undrained Shear Strength = 500-1,000 psf

1,000 500
psf psf

## Undrained Strength, c = qu/2, psf

Undrained Shear Strength Scale, after Terzaghi and Peck, 2nd Edition, page 30
Soft Clays with PI > 12
Normally Consolidated
Undrained Shear Strength = 250-500 psf

## 0 0.33 0.67 1.0

500 250
psf psf
Undrained Strength, c = qu/2, psf

Undrained Shear Strength Scale, after Terzaghi and Peck, 2nd Edition, page 30
Very Soft Clays with PI > 12,
Under Consolidated
Undrained Shear Strength < 250 psf

250
psf

## Undrained Strength, c = qu/2, psf

Undrained Shear Strength Scale, after Terzaghi and Peck, 2nd Edition, page 30
Distinguish between Unconfined
Compressive Strength (qu) and
Undrained Shear Strength (su or c)

qu
Su c
2
Torvane measures Undrained
Shear Strength

qu
Su c
2
Pocket Penetrometer measures
unconfined compressive strength
(qu)

qu
Su c
2
Unconfined compression test
Load
qu s 1
Load A
1
s3 = 0

Strain rate = 1-
2%/min.
c
qu
qu
Su c
2

2
Unconfined compression test
su = undrained shear strength (c value)
qu = unconfined compressive strength

= c = su = *qu

c = su

s
s3 = 0 s1 @ failure = q u
Factors in erodibility of
overconsolidated clay soils
What is importance of
blocky structure and
slickensides?
Is there available
case history data?
Factors in erodibility of
overconsolidated clay soils

## What is importance of blocky structure

and slickensides?
Is there available case history data?
Factors in erodibility of
overconsolidated clay soils
Not all overconsolidated clays may have
open blocky structure
Example is chalks from Alabama and
Mississippi
Index properties of these weathered chalks
may be similar to those of overconsolidated
clays with fissured blocky structure
How do you account for difference
Field Estimate of Consistency
Consistency Rule of Thumb
Very Soft Thumb will penetrate
Soft soil more than 1-
Medium
inch. Extrudes
between fingers
Stiff
when squeezed in
V/Stiff to Hard fist
Field Estimate of Consistency
Consistency Rule of Thumb
Very Soft

## Soft Thumb will

Medium
penetrate soil
about 1-inch.
Stiff
Easily molded in
V/Stiff to Hard fingers
Field Estimate of Consistency
Consistency Rule of Thumb
Very Soft

## Soft Thumb will not

Medium
penetrate soil, but
will indent about
Stiff
1/4 inch. Molded
V/Stiff to Hard by finger pressure
Field Estimate of Consistency
Consistency Rule of Thumb
Very Soft
Soft Thumb will not
Medium indent soil, but soil
can be indented
Stiff with thumbnail.
V/Stiff to Hard
Field Estimate of Consistency
Consistency Rule of Thumb
Very Soft

## Soft Can only be

Medium
marked with knife -
not indented with
Stiff
thumbnail.
V/Stiff to Hard
Summary
The rate of upstream migration of a
headcut predicted by the SITES program
is extremely sensitive in the range of
values of the Kh parameter which are
typical for soils
Cohesive soils have typical values of Kh
between 0.05 and 0.2