Earth dams



Earth dikes and dams are gravity structures used to impound water or semi-fluid wastes. Water is impounded for flood control, hydroelectric power production, recreation, domestic storage, and industrial uses, including waste storage. Small dikes and dams are often homogeneous (constructed using one basic material) but most large dams (over 15 m) are composite or zoned dams and are constructed from two or more basic materials. Dam heights and volumes have been progressively increasing in the search for hydroelectric power, Gommonly exceeding 100m after 1950 and approaching 300 m in recent years. Several dam complexes with compacted earth volumes in excess of 108 m3 have been constructed, and the James Bay Project of Hydro-Quebec, Canada, is destined to be one of the largest heavy construction projects in the world. Typical components of a large earth dam are shown on Figure 5.1, and Figures 5.2 through 5 show various aspects of dam construction at the James Bay LaGrande Project.


Hydraulic Fracture Differential Settlement Grout Curtain Foundation Treatment Piping Failure 
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Copyright information

© R. J. Mitchell 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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