Location

Arlington, Virginia

Session Start Date

8-11-2008

Session End Date

8-16-2008

Abstract

The Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir was built in the early 1960’s as a water storage reservoir for hydro-electric energy production. The reservoir was created by blasting rock from the top of Proffit Mountain. The rock debris generated was then used to construct a kidney shaped earthen embankment atop the mountain. The reservoir is located in Reynolds County near the town of Lesterville, Missouri. The Upper Reservoir was approximately 95 feet in depth and covered a surface area of roughly 55 acres. The reservoir had the capacity to hold nearly 1.5 billion gallons of water. The Upper reservoir underwent a catastrophic failure on the morning of December 14th, 2005 releasing most of its stored water down the northwest side of Proffit Mountain. An approximate 700-feet wide breach occurred along the northwest radius of the rock-fill dike, causing severe damage to state park property. No fatalities resulted from the failure events. This paper evaluates different failure mechanisms of the reservoir based on three distinct failure hypotheses. Conclusions are then made based on the analyses and discussion of each mechanism, categorized in terms of the likely contribution to the Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir failure.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Sixth Conference

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

8-11-2008

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2008 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Aug 11th, 12:00 AM Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Evaluation of the Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Failure

Arlington, Virginia

The Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir was built in the early 1960’s as a water storage reservoir for hydro-electric energy production. The reservoir was created by blasting rock from the top of Proffit Mountain. The rock debris generated was then used to construct a kidney shaped earthen embankment atop the mountain. The reservoir is located in Reynolds County near the town of Lesterville, Missouri. The Upper Reservoir was approximately 95 feet in depth and covered a surface area of roughly 55 acres. The reservoir had the capacity to hold nearly 1.5 billion gallons of water. The Upper reservoir underwent a catastrophic failure on the morning of December 14th, 2005 releasing most of its stored water down the northwest side of Proffit Mountain. An approximate 700-feet wide breach occurred along the northwest radius of the rock-fill dike, causing severe damage to state park property. No fatalities resulted from the failure events. This paper evaluates different failure mechanisms of the reservoir based on three distinct failure hypotheses. Conclusions are then made based on the analyses and discussion of each mechanism, categorized in terms of the likely contribution to the Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir failure.