Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker


  • Qin Qian
  • Saeid Eslamian
  • Kaveh Ostad-Ali-AskariEmail author
  • Maryam Marani-Barzani
  • Farnaz Rafat
  • Ali Hasantabar-Amiri
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_59


Coffer; Temporary dam


A temporary watertight enclosure built for specialized construction below water level.


Construction in water is a difficult and dangerous job that requires a dry working surface. Cofferdams are one type of temporary structure designed to keep water and/or soil from the execution of construction at a site, so that the permanent facility/structure can be constructed in water (Anderson 2001). A cofferdam should have waterproof walls more than 1 m higher than the maximum water level to ensure that water does not enter the opposite side. Cofferdam design and construction involve the consideration of the structure, local soil and water conditions, often construction offshore, and the possibility of severe weather during construction. The hydrostatic force of the water and the dynamic force due to currents and waves must be considered in the design.

Cofferdams can be classified by their material as earthen, rock-fill, single-walled,...
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  1. Anderson HV (2001) Underwater construction using cofferdams. Best Publishing Company, Flagstaff, 328 pagesGoogle Scholar
  2. Fell R, MacGregor P, Stapledon D, Bell G, Foster M (2014) Geotechnical engineering of dams, 2nd edn. Taylor and Francis, London, 1348 pagesGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qin Qian
    • 1
  • Saeid Eslamian
    • 2
  • Kaveh Ostad-Ali-Askari
    • 3
    Email author
  • Maryam Marani-Barzani
    • 4
  • Farnaz Rafat
    • 5
  • Ali Hasantabar-Amiri
    • 6
  1. 1.Civil and Environmental EngineeringLamar University, Texas State University SystemBeaumontUSA
  2. 2.Department of Water EngineeringIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran
  3. 3.Department of Civil Engineering, Isfahan (Khorasgan) BranchIslamic Azad UniversityIsfahanIran
  4. 4.Department of GeographyUniversity of Malaya (UM)Kuala LumpurMalaysia
  5. 5.Department of Civil Engineering, Khomeinishahr BranchIslamic Azad UniversityIsfahanIran
  6. 6.Department of Civil Engineering, Lenjan BranchIslamic Azad UniversityIsfahanIran