Oroville Dam

SECTOR: Dams & Levees

Oroville, California


Spillway reconstruction monitoring

The Oroville Dam, one of the tallest dams in the United States at 235 metres, experienced significant spillway damage in 2017 after a period of prolonged heavy rains, prompting the evacuation of 188,000 people downstream.

Kiewit Construction led the reconstruction efforts, while Terracon was responsible for geotechnical instrumentation and monitoring. Several SAAV model ShapeArrays, along with traditional in-place inclinonmeters, were installed to monitor movement and slope stability during the spillway’s reconstruction. The ShapeArrays, connected to the sensemetrics wireless THREAD platform provided project managers with near real-time automated data collection and viewing. According to sensemetrics, the contractor budgeted a three-week period to install and automate the sensored instrumentation, but with the ease of installation and platform integration, the work was completed just in three days. The ShapeArrays used on site were installed in a single morning.

Repair construction on the main spillway was completed in October 2018.


[1] “188,000 evacuated as California’s massive Oroville Dam threatens catastrophic floods - The Washington Post.” [Online]. Available: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/13/not-a-drill-thousands-evacuated-in-calif-as-oroville-dam-threatens-to-flood/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0efc6e058672. [Accessed: 31-Oct-2018].

What are the five key differences between manual and real-time monitoring?

What are the five key differences between manual and real-time monitoring?

How does automated, real-time data collection compare to traditional geotechnical monitoring instrumentation? Download now to find out.