Piedra del Aguila Dam

ARGENTINA, 1988-1992

Impervious grout curtain into a fossil valley. Piedra del Aguila Dam. Alicopa Hydroelectric Complex. Argentina

The Piedra del Aguila dam is a solid concrete gravity dam rising 180m above its foundations and 800m long at its crest. The site offers exceptional hydroelectric potential and a great geological anomaly. The present valley, in wich the construction stands, is contiguous to a second fossil valley which is full of extremely heterogeneous alluvials covered with a large layer of basalt.
In order to guarantee the stability of the left bank, it was necessary to construct an impervious trilinear grout curtain through the fossil valley from two underground galleries, and complete the work with a large drainage system. The injection curtain measures 600m long by 210m high at its deepest point.
Given the short time allowed to complete the work, start up planned for the 10th Oct., 1989 and dam operation planned for the 1st Sept., 1990, with 72,300lm of drilling and 22,600m3 of grout to be injected between these dates plus all the mobilisation, it was necessary to transport more than 400 tons of equipment from France by air freight.

Piedra del Aguila Dam




Grouting involves the injection of a pumpable product (slurry), which will subsequently stiffen, into the soil or into man-made material (masonry), in order to consolidate the soil or structure or make it impermeable, through filling all the voids it contains. The slurry can fill the voids in the ground, the cracks within rock, solution cavities (it is then referred to as fissure and permeation grouting) and/or displace the surrounding soils through a bottom-up process or by fracturing (compaction grouting or solid injection - see the section on the subject - and strain injection). Grouting with soil displacement may be used to prevent potential damage to the structure brought about by excavations (galleries and tunnels, major urban excavations, etc.) and this is called compensation grouting (see the relevant section).



The sealing and stability of dams generally requires substantial grouting, sealing and drainage works. The techniques of boring, injection and drilling, which are the original activities of Soletanche Bachy, are now complemented by other procedures, including diaphragm cut offs, either in concrete, plastic concrete or slurry, and jet grouted cutoffs.

Voyage au coeur de l'ingénierie de pointe

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