Project Description

Project Overview

Mosul Dam is located on the Tigris River, approximately 60 km northwest of Mosul city in the Northwestern part of Iraq. It is the largest dam in Iraq, and the fourth largest dam in the Middle East.

The dam is one of the most important strategic projects in Iraq for management of its water resources, yet it has had significant issues since its inception due to internal erosion. Studies have shown that, should the dam collapse, the resulting tsunami-like wave could flood over 7000 km2 and cause devastating results for over 6 million people.

In 2016 remediation efforts began to stabilize and repair the dam’s foundation including grouting procedures and foundational improvements. In 2019, the dam’s stability has been significantly improved, however, it is not a permanent solution.

*Header image not of actual dam featured in case study

Mosul, Iraq

Sector:
Water Management

Product/Service:
Historical Analysis

Satellite / Wavelength:
TerraSAR-X (TSX); X-band

Goals

  • Identify hazardous active displacement areas over the dam and its surrounding area using InSAR.

  • Demonstrate the benefit of high-precision InSAR monitoring over high-risk areas.

  • Show how InSAR historical data can be leveraged to help prevent future failure of earth fill dams.

Mosul Dam is located on the Tigris River, approximately 60 km northwest of Mosul city in the Northwestern part of Iraq. It is the largest dam in Iraq, and the fourth largest dam in the Middle East.

Solution & Results

Due to the extremely high risk of dam failure, it was critical for 3vGeomatics to acquire the best data to provide full displacement histories for each data point on the dam and its surrounding areas. 3vGeomatics analyzed 75 TSX spotlight images taken from 2015 to 2020. TSX spotlight images provide 25cm resolution, resulting in more than 300,000 data points over the dam and surrounding area. Results show displacement averaging 0.5 cm / year on the dam wall.

InSAR has the ability to monitor subtle movements of critical infrastructure such as dams, reservoir slopes, and subsidiary dams. 3vGeomatics analyzed 75 TSX spotlight images taken from 2015 to 2020 over the Mosul Dam to provide high resolution displacement identification.

Actionable intelligence to enable immediate remediation or the issuance of evacuation notices.

Five years of data provides a long and significant time series history for each displacement point, providing more insight into the dam’s characteristics.

Spotlight beam mode provides greater spatial resolution over typical stripmap resulting in 10 times the point density.

Over eight areas of instability were identified within the footprint including the dam wall.

TSX spotlight images provide 25cm resolution, resulting in more than 300,000 data points over the dam and surrounding area. Results show displacement averaging 0.5 cm / year on the dam wall.

Benefits

InSAR has the ability to monitor subtle movements of critical infrastructure such as dams, reservoir slopes, and subsidiary dams on a 2 to 12 day frequency. Surrounding reservoir slopes can also be monitored, mitigating the risk of overtopping from upstream instabilities. Having an ongoing InSAR monitoring program not only provides insight into risk mitigation by developing a baseline of pre-existing conditions of this area, it also provides strong data to drive actionable intelligence.

3vG provides rapid reports within hours of image acquisition showing displacement and acceleration, providing actionable intelligence to enable immediate remediation or the issuance of evacuation notices.

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