VR 3D model prevents dam catastrophes

Traditional engineering meets virtual reality 3D Model to guide critical upgrades to the Leslie Harrison Dam.

Leslie Harrison Dam

The Leslie Harrison Dam was due for a critical upgrade due to population growth and infrastructure safety concerns.

Our Client


Asset value
$11 billion

3.2 million people

Seqwater needed a novel way to present the complex interrelationships between the multiple geological, flood mapping and structural datasets to support decision-makers.

GHD created a 3D virtual reality environment that integrated all data sets and showed the impact of different scenarios on the dam’s infrastructure, the environment and the impacted residents.

The integrated 3D model included data related to geology, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis and live instrumentation feeds all superimposed on a lifelike geo-located photogrammetric mesh. Custom navigational controls were built to meet the specific needs of users.

We combined geological data from Leapfrog Works and lithological data in Unity, a virtual reality development platform. Our modelling integrated spillway floods so users could assess the impacts of different flood levels. Piezometers were installed to measure and display groundwater pressure in real-time, and drone-captured imagery created a lifelike photogrammetric mesh of the dam.

High-tech assistance to test multiple scenarios

— Using the VR environment and live-streamed data, decision-makers could easily see the relationships between the different data sets and assess the impact of different scenarios.

— Site staff could locate, observe and map geological units they were concerned about during trench excavations.

— Information about the proposed upgrade was able to be communicated clearly to all stakeholders.

— Decision-makers were able to better understand how the upgrade would make surrounding areas more flood-resilient.

Find out more or get a customized solution from GHD today.