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Case Study Webinar Modelling and analysis of a concrete arch dam
on a complex layered foundation
– Yusufeli Dam project
October 26, 2021 (Tuesday)
- Time 1: GMT 6am / SGT 2pm / AEDT 5pm / NZDT 7pm
- Time 2: GMT 11am / BST 12pm / CEST 1pm / CAT 1pm / GST 3pm / IST 4:30pm | Duration : 60 min

The Yusufeli Dam comprised the construction of a 275 m high double-curvature concrete arch dam on a rock mass foundation with complex conditions. An arch dam relies heavily on its abutments to resist thrust loads imposed due to arching action, and requires a competent foundation.

The Yusufeli Dam rock mass foundation is made up of various layers of fractured rock of differing material parameters with widespread existence of fault lines within it. The rock mass layers have a broad range of parameters.

The Yusufeli Dam and foundation were modelled and analysed using midas FEA NX software to evaluate and further design the structure to ensure structural integrity and global stability. The speaker will demonstrate the ability of midas FEA NX to create a FE model of a concrete arch dam founded on a very complex rock mass foundation using 3-dimensional solid elements.

  • Guest Speaker
    Ryan Cassells Structural dams engineer
    ARQ Consulting Engineers
    7 years of experience in dam design and analysis using FEM



ARQ Consulting Engineers / South Africa

ARQ is an award-winning consulting engineering firm specialising in dams and geotechecnical engineering. ARQ was established at the beginning of 1993 on the platform of the specialist capabilities of its founders in bridge, dam, and geotechnical engineering. Over the years, the company has consolidated a local and international reputation as a leading dam and hydropower engineering consultancy.


ARQ has been active in dam engineering since 1993. ARQ has been involved in over 150 projects involving dams, hydropower, and river engineering in 33 countries; with 43 new dams completed or currently under construction (the highest being 275 m), 14 completed projects involving major rehabilitation or raising, 25 projects at pre-feasibility and feasibility level (highest dam of 275 m) as well as dam safety/asset evaluation studies. ARQ has furthermore contributed staff as specialists on local and international projects as members of expert panels and/or reviewers, and have undertaken various hydropower projects.


ARQ has worked on all dam types, including Roller Compacted Concrete(RCC), Rubble Masonry Concrete (RMC), hardfill, concrete (arch and gravity types), Concrete Faced Rockfill Dam (CFRD), earthfill, rockfill, and composite dams. Our teams have worked across most continents and are well versed in international best practice, routinely applying state-of-the-art technology and systems to support a more efficient project process.


Website: https://arq.co.za  

E-mail: ryan@arq.co.za


01 Introduction and background

- ARQ offices in Pretoria, South Africa

- 20 engineers and technical staff

- 150 dams projects over 28 years

Yusufeli dam location, Turkey

02 Dam location and problem statement

- Widespread installation of rock anchors post-excavation

- Complex foundation conditions comprising multiple layers of jointed rock mass

- Extensive geotechnical testing of foundation material by IC Consulenten to create detailed 3D model using Leapfrog software

- Complex structural interaction between the loaded dam, cushion and layered rock mass

03 Modelling of dam and foundation
in midas GTS NX

- Dam and foundation 3D geometry developed in AutoCAD

- Dam arch geometry imported into midas FEA NX and configured for stage construction

- Loading of dam structure with drained uplift according to drained curtain location

3-Dimensional meshed dam and foundation in midas FEA NX using hybrid solid elements

04 Output - Analysis results

- Radial displacement of dam and summation of forces for verification of results

- Sensitivity analyses results of the arch with differing cushion stiffness parameters

- Arch dam stress results showing arching and cantilever load transfer

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  • 02 Free Trial of GTS NX

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