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Monitoring of Toktogul Hydropower System


Stability Monitoring of Toktogul Hydro Power Stations at River Naryn to Prevent Disastrous Aftermath under Seismic Impact

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment
  • OBS-GEO/Geology/Other Basic Sciences

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Zalouzhny A A

Leading Institute
Kyrgyz-Russian Slavonic University, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of Dynamics of the Geosphere, Russia, Moscow


  • Science Applications International Corporation, USA, VA, McLean\nPolitecnico di Torino, Italy, Torino\nNergal S.r.l., Italy, Rome\nUniversität Innsbruck, Austria, Innsbruck\nInternational Society for Rocks Mechanics, Portugal, Lisbon

Project summary

Project goal: assessment, control and prediction of the dam body, its basements and junction to surrounding massif stability under seismic loading. Development of a procedure for the dam state control.

Kyrgyz Republic has a unique hydropower complex based on a cascade of Toktogul hydropower stations on river Naryn. The most powerful from the stations, Toktogul station (1.2 million kWh), has a concrete gravity dam 215 m high and 295 m long along the crest, and water reservoir of 19.5 billion cubic meters.

Large territories of the Middle Asia and Southern Kazakhstan are exposed to effects of earthquakes. During last century, there were more than 75 earthquakes with magnitude above 8 within this territory. According to the most recent map of seismic risk regionalization of the Northern Eurasia, the region is associated with 9-ball intensity with recurrence rate of 500 years, and 10-ball and higher with recurrence rate of 1,000 to 500 years. There are several large-scale active faults in the region and some of them are very close to main construction units of hydropower stations. Displacement along the faults is of principal danger for the stations.

Monitoring of the dam and surrounding rock massif is practically absent now. The first step is to recover the system of seismic monitoring. Conduction of the well-timed seismic observations is aimed to obtain long-term deformation features of the structurally complex massif under natural and man-made disturbances. Results of such observations are important for evaluation of the object stability as well as mobility of various structural blocks in the studied region.

Problem of seismic stability of such hydropower constructions has gained large importance. High-rise dams’ seismic stability and reliable exploitation deserve special attention. Damages of such construction are not allowed at all because of their dramatic consequences. In the current situation of active and extended hydropower and water-industry construction it is necessary to provide technically elaborated and economically effective project solutions as well as to reach high quality construction practice. The goal, obviously, can be reached by extended and complex investigation of existent large-scale objects.

Arrangement and conduction of seismo-engineering observations and on-time revealing of dangerous geodynamic consequences on such unique objects as Toktogul hydropower station allow its safe and long-term exploitation. Important problem is how regional tectonics effects wall stability of a canyon containing hydrotechnical constructions. Problems associated with stability of natural structures are of large practical importance and interesting for basic aspects of geomechanics. The project includes development of new approaches and methods for stability monitoring of natural and artificial slopes with above- and underground constructions, i.e. large-scale dams’ junction walls and reservoirs’ shores exposed to intensive seismic loading. Scope and character of engineering activity cause significant violation of rock massif dynamic stability and, in the conditions of multi-factor interaction of between complex processes on regional scale, lead to manifestation of a wide variety of ecological instability sources.

The current project is aimed to development of recommendations for safe hydropower station exploitation in seismically active zones. Scientific studies under the project and achievements of principal goals of the studies will provide safe exploitation of Toktogul hydropower station in Kyrgyz Republic and will contribute valuable experience into worldwide Hydropower Energetics.

Project fulfillment will generate new knowledge and practical contribution to the following:

– summary of experience of long term operation of the Hydro Power Stations under conditions of high seismic activity;

– development of new approaches and techniques for monitoring the stability of natural and man-made slopes with underground and ground-based constructions, the sides of large dam surroundings and water reservoir banks;
– development of a method of comprehensive instrumental monitoring of the stability of canyon walls at the Hydro Power Stations under seismic load;
– development of methods for the quantitative evaluation of the Toktogul HPS dam and its surroundings state;
– development of methods to predict Toktogul HPS dam state and prevention of disastrous consequences.

Project tasks:

– assessment of seismic loading on constructions of Toktogul HPS during exploitation period (history analysis);

– analysis of regional tectonics and exogeneous processes effect on canyon slopes stability (rock basement and shore junctions);
– development of a geomechanical model for the rock massif surrounding Toktogul HPS;
– development of new approaches and procedures for stability monitoring of natural and artificial slopes with above and underground constructions representing walls of large dams and shores conjunctions in the regions of high seismic activity;
– determination of principal requirements to the Toktogul HPS geomechanical monitoring system;
– design project for the first stage of the monitoring system – seismo-monitoring system;
– development of the Toktogul HPS monitoring system;
– arrangement of real time information acquisition and preliminary processing;
– development of a complete procedure for instrumental control stability Toktogul HPS canyon slopes under seismic loading and methods for state prediction of the dam, its basement and shore junctions under seismic loading.


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