Using Observational Method to Manage Safety Aspects of Remedial Grouting of Concrete Dam Foundations

Johan Spross*, Fredrik Johansson, Lauri Kalle Tapio Uotinen, Jalaleddin Yaghoobi Rafi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


As concrete dams age, the need for remedial grouting to reduce the seepage and uplift pressure in the rock foundations under them increases. Based on a case study of a Swedish dam with very low calculated safety against sliding, this paper discusses the application of the observational method (as defined in Eurocode 7) to manage safety aspects during remedial grouting. The studied case was complex in that grouting works posed the risk of causing increased uplift pressure, which could have induced sliding failure along a shallow, persistent, horizontal rock joint in the foundation. The approach applied in the studied case mainly followed the principles of the observational method, except in some highly significant safety aspects for which alternative procedures are suggested and discussed. Implementing these procedures along with the observational method offers a coherent framework to manage the safety aspects of the remedial grouting of concrete dam foundations that is in line with modern risk-informed dam safety policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1613–1630
Number of pages18
JournalGeotechnical and Geological Engineering
Issue number5
Early online date17 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Dam safety
  • Eurocode 7
  • Foundation
  • Grouting
  • Observational method


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