Evaluation on the Soil Flexibility of the Largest HEP Dam Area in East Malaysia using 1-D Equivalent Linear Analysis
This paper presents the evaluation of soil flexibility at the vicinity of the Bakun HEP Dam, the largest in East Malaysia. The dam is located in the Belaga District of Sarawak, approximately 50 km from the active Tubau and Bukit Mersing fault lines. This area experienced earthquakes of magnitudes ranging between 3.5 and 5.4 during the period from 1994 and 2010. This study used global and local earthquake records to evaluate the site specific seismic hazard using a 1-D equivalent linear analysis. SPT data from 15 boreholes are utilized. Soil flexibility, factor of safety, liquefaction probability and potential index are evaluated to ascertain the ground settlement and soil liquefaction effects. The results show that the ground amplification of Belaga District is between 2.445 and 5.146, while the peak ground accelerations (PGA) at ground surface are at a maximum average of 0.25g PGA. The soil factors for Bakun District range from 2.6 - 3.0, for 2% POE in 50 years. This corresponds to a 2475 year return period. The response spectra are found matching with the target design response spectra for Sarawak as reported in the Malaysia National Annex (MS EN 1998-1:2015). The effects of soil liquefaction are found to be insignificant, as a result the nearby Bakun HEP dam is considered safe from any ground settlement. This study highlights the importance of evaluating the ability of new or existing structures in Belaga District to withstand up to 0.25g PGA in case any seismic event should occur in the future.
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