SECTOR: Dams & Levees

Lac-Jérôme, Québec


Monitoring internal settlements in Rockfill dam

Situated in Northern Québec’s territory of Lac-Jérome, the Romaine-3 dam is a 92 m-high central till core zone rockfill structure on the Romaine River. Built from 2014 to 2016, the dam became operational in 2017 [1] and has a generating capacity of 395 MW. Romaine-3 belongs to Hydro-Québec’s Romaine hydroelectric complex project, a $3.5 billion enterprise launched in 2009 to construct four hydro-generating stations.

At Romaine-3, the ground is grouted rock and features an impervious central core of gravelly silt at near-optimal compaction conditions. To monitor the upstream and downstream settlement movements of gravel and rockfill, a number of horizontal ShapeArrays were installed at both sides of the core. Unlike conventional inclinometers, these ShapeArrays are able to measure settlements in the upstream shell after reservoir impoundment, thus allowing for more advanced data collection.

During the installation, six ShapeArrays were placed back-to-back at 310 m inside longitude trenches in the sandy filters of Romaine-3. To protect the devices from potential damage caused by large rocks in the dam, PVC pipes, geotextiles, and fine sand bedding were used to safeguard them. Together, the ShapeArrays span 394 m in the dam: 210 m upstream and 184 m downstream, and they provide real-time data to engineers in the ShapeArray reading station at Romaine-3 [1].

Hydro-Québec anticipates that the project will be completed by 2021 when Romaine-4, the fourth and final dam, is fully active. Once operational, the Romaine Complex should generate a combined 1,550 MW [2].


[1] Smith, M. and Brien, J., “Measuring Internal Settlements at the Romaine 3 Rockfill Dam in Canada,” The International Journal of Hydropower & Dams, Issue Three. [Print.] Surrey, UK, 2019.

[2] Hydro-Quebec. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 17-Oct-2019].

  • 1993

    The Beginning

    Measurand is established in Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • 1994

    Bend sensor development

    Measurand develops and patents fiber optic bend and position sensors for the medical and automotive sectors

    U.S. Patent 5,321,257

  • 1995

    Canadian Space Agency

    Receives funding from the CSA to develop sensor technology that ultimately leads to invention of ShapeTape

    U.S. Patent 5,633,494

  • 1999

    Patent on fiber optic sensor

    Measurand receives patent for "Fiber Optic Bending and Positioning Sensor" issued June 29, 1999

    Canadian Patent 2,073,162

  • 2001

    ShapeTape & ShapeHand debut

    Measurand designs and develops innovative motion capture technology

    U.S. Patent 6,127,672, 6,563,107

  • 2002

    Measurand Attends the ICPMG

    First contact with the geotechnical sector at the International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (ICPMG)
  • 2004


    Design patent application sent about a new product designed to meet the specific needs of the geotechnical industry

    U.S. Patent 6,127,672, 6,563,107

  • 2005-08


    Measurand debuts ShapeWrap motion capture technology for the film and animation industry

    U.S. Patent 7,296,363

  • 2006

    Malibu installation

    ShapeAccelArray installed for ground monitoring for the first time​ in Malibu, CA

    Canadian Patent 2,472,421

  • 2007


    Suite of instrumentation developed for motion capture within Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines

    U.S. Patent 7,296,363

  • 2011

    SAAScan launched

    Built for rapid deployment and repeated use

    Canadian Patent 2,472,421

  • 2014

    SAAX launched

    Purpose-built for heavy-duty horizontal installation

    Canadian application 2,815,199 & 2,815,195

  • 2017

    SAAV launched

    The only geotechnical instrument with a patented cyclical installation method

    Cyclical Sensor Array, Canadian application 2,815,199 & 2,911,175