Failure and Stability Analysis of Jinping-I Arch Dam Based on Geomechanical Model Test and Nonlinear Numerical Analysis

  • Zhuofu Tao
  • Yaoru LiuEmail author
  • Li Cheng
  • Qiang Yang
Original Paper


Jinping-I high arch dam is the highest arch dam (305 m) in the world, but the topography of its left and right sides of the arch is not symmetrical, which has a great impact on the overall stability of the arch dam. Based on the geomechanical model test and nonlinear numerical simulation, the evolution processes of cracks and failure during overloading in dam body and faults are demonstrated. Three safety factors of Jinping-I are gained and compared with other high arch dams. The safety factor of crack (K1) is 2.5, the factor of initial nonlinear deformation (K2) is 4.5 and the factor of the ultimate bearing capacity (K3) of Jinping-I is 7.5, indicating that the project has a high inherent safety. Treatments of foundation and weak zones are proved to be effective and then suggestions for reinforcement are given. Additionally, the relationships between model test and numerical simulation based on the deformation reinforcement theory are studied, which verifies that the unbalanced force is an effective indicator for cracking.


Jinping-I arch dam Cracking Global stability Geomechanical model test Nonlinear finite element method 

List of Symbols

\(\Delta {{U}}\)

Unbalanced force


Plastic complementary energy


Strain matrix


Elastic compliance tensor


Elastic tensor


Plastic dissipative function


Solution domain


Yield function


Nodal force vector


Total strain

\({\dot {{\varepsilon}}^e}\)

Elastic strain rate

\({\dot {{\varepsilon}}^p}\)

Plastic strain rate

\(\Delta {{\varepsilon}^p}\)

Plastic strain increment


Total stress

\(\dot {{\sigma}}\)

Stress rate


Elastic stress field


Final stress field


Similarity coefficient of geometric

\({{{C}}_\nu }\)

Similarity coefficient of Poisson’s ratio


Similarity coefficient of friction coefficient

\({{{C}}_\sigma }\)

Similarity coefficient of stress


Similarity coefficient of Young’s modulus

\({{{C}}_\gamma }\)

Similarity coefficient of unit weight


Similarity coefficient of cohesion

\({{{C}}_\delta }\)

Similarity coefficient of displacement


Overloading factor



The work reported here was supported by the National Science Foundation of China with Grant nos. 51479097 and 51739006, and the State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering of Hydroscience with Grant no. 2016-KY-2.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Hydraulic EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Renewable Energy Engineering InstituteHydrochina CorporationBeijingChina

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