Geophysical Infrastructure Study: Success Dam

Science Center Objects

Success Dam, Lake Success, Porterville, California

Success Dam is located on the Tule River outside of Porterville, California. Construction was completed in 1961. Previous USGS geophysical studies were carried out in 2006 on the downstream toe to help determine properties of the dam and its foundation after lateral heterogeneities with soft sand in the older alluvium and terrace deposits upon which the foundation rests were discovered through drilling. This study is in support of construction of a new spillway weir to increase storage capacity of Lake Success by 10 ft. The objective is to identify depth to competent bedrock with compressional- (P-) wave seismic refraction for weir design and exploratory borehole location purposes. The field campaign was conducted in December 2018.

seismic geophones on dam spillway

Downline view of seismic P-wave geophones deployed in the northern portion of the Success Dam spillway in California. View is to the northeast.

(Credit: Beth Burton, USGS. Public domain.)

scientists setting up seismic equipment near road

Evan Cox (left, USGS) and Ron Galloway (right, USACE) deploying seismic equipment within the Success Dam spillway, CA. View is to the west.

(Credit: Beth Burton, USGS. Public domain.)

scientists preparing equipment near truck

Ron Galloway (left, USACE) and Kyle Lindsay (right, USACE) preparing the truck-mounted seismic accelerated weight drop source within the Success Dam spillway, CA. View is to the northeast.

(Credit: Beth Burton, USGS. Public domain.)

scientists getting seismic data in field

Left to right: Ron Galloway (USACE), Kyle Lindsay (USACE), and Evan Cox (USGS) acquiring P-wave seismic data with a sledgehammer source on the western slope above the Success Dam spillway, CA. View is to the south.

(Credit: Beth Burton, USGS. Public domain.)

scientists getting seismic data in field

Kyle Lindsay (left, USACE) and Lew Hunter (right, USACE) acquiring P-wave seismic data with a sledgehammer source on the eastern slope above the Success Dam spillway, CA. View is to the northeast.

(Credit: Beth Burton, USGS. Public domain.)

dam, spillway, and lake in background

Panoramic view to the southeast of the Success Dam spillway (foreground) and of Success Dam and Lake Success (background), California.

(Credit: Beth Burton, USGS. Public domain.)

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