"Recent USGS seismic survey results recorded breaks in the bedrock beneath the entire length of the auxiliary dam and the rocks cored in deep drill holes have verified some of those results.
"The faulting and resulting poor condition of the rock found along the entire length of the auxiliary dam is believed to be caused by an older strike-slip fault that has recently reactivated as a normal or reverse fault," Kittner said.
The loose rock was taken from core samples drilled nearly 300 feet beneath the dam, and differs dramatically from the solid granite bedrock found beneath the lake's main dam. Workers are nearly half finished digging the roughly 1,500-foot-long seismic trench, which runs 10 to 15 feet deep and 4 feet wide and parallels the auxiliary dam approximately 100-150 feet from the toe (lowest portion) of the dam.
21, 2009) - Tony Kittner, Isabella Dam project geologist, Sacramento District geotechnical engineering branch, demonstrates the crumbly consistency of the bedrock found 100 feet below the auxiliary dam at Isabella Lake. 21, 2009) - Scott Rugg (left), senior engineering geologist for Kleinfelder Engineering, San Diego, and Andrew Lutz, project geologist, Fugro Geo Consulting Service, Walnut Creek, examine the soil in the seismic trench dug near the Lake Isabella auxiliary dam. Partnered with the Corps on the trenching and drilling at Isabella are various trenching and drilling contractors and geologists, said Tony Kittner, Isabella Dam project geologist, Sacramento District geotechnical engineering branch, who referred to some of the contractors and geologists as the "best in the world." The USGS is also performing geophysics work on the auxiliary dam and upstream in the delta region below nearby Kernville, Calif.
Findings will determine what action the Corps will take, said Kittner and Ronn Rose, geologist, dam safety program manager with the Sacramento District.
"Several measures will likely be evaluated to strengthen the Auxiliary Dam for seismic and seepage concerns," Serafini said.
The island is a natural treasure made even richer by human intervention; it has always been one of the favourite visitor attractions of Lake Maggiore, not to be missed if you want unparalleled views of the lake and its surroundings.
Isola Bella is dominated by its sumptuous Baroque palace, along with a luxuriant Italian-style garden, which reaches a height of 37 metres and is laid out on ten terraces.
"Multiple seepage problems and poor foundation materials at the auxiliary dam were driving the DSAC rating for this project until it was learned the auxiliary dam was built on an active fault, a direct result of the fault trenching project," Kittner said.
C-14 radiocarbon and OSL (optically stimulated) luminescence dating sampling methods are used for determining the age of the material found in and near the fault displacements." A preliminary screening of possible alternatives and remediation measures for the Isabella Dam Safety Project is scheduled for December using the seismic and seepage evaluations and data collected from the field investigations, said David Serafini, Isabella Dam technical lead.
The screening of alternatives will address the seepage, seismic and hydrologic deficiencies for the main dam, auxiliary dam and the spillway, he said.
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