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Detection of underwater weak zones of dam seepage, using remote operated vehicle-an emerging underwater technology

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Geophysics, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • 2Central Soil and Materials Research Station, New Delhi-110016, India

Res. J. Engineering Sci., Volume 10, Issue (1), Pages 44-53, January,26 (2021)


The detection of underwater weak zone of the dam seepage is an important aspect for the dam safety monitoring. In unconsolidated or weak zone when seepage velocities reach critical values, internal erosion takes places, as a result the affected areas collapse and weakening the foundation of the dam. The internal erosion is one of the main reasons for the dam failures. Therefore seepage detection plays an important role in the dam safety monitoring. The visual detection of underwater weak zones of upstream face of the dam surface is difficult by conventional methods. Therefore, there is a need for new or improved technology of underwater inspection and investigation. The advanced development of remote operated vehicle in the underwater robotic technology increasingly adopted as efficient and effective tools for underwater inspection, evaluation and investigation. Furthermore, the use of a remote operated vehicle for obtaining an easily and quickly visual image recorded of underwater damage structure along the upstream face of the dam. In this study remote operated vehicle was used for the assessment of underwater weak zones prone of seepage in the upstream face of Mullaperiyar dam, Kerala, India. The analysis of the results revealed water seepage through a certain locations of unconsolidated or weak zones are presents and development of openings on the underwater upstream face of the dam.


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