Buttress Dam

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buttress dam

[′bə·trəs ‚dam]
(civil engineering)
A concrete dam constructed as a series of buttresses.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Buttress Dam


a dam in which the water pressure of the headrace, which is absorbed by the pressure floor (in the form of plates or vaults), is transmitted to buttresses and the foundation. Buttress dams are constructed primarily from concrete and reinforced concrete. There are two types of buttresses: solid or open massive (concrete and rubble concrete) and thin (concrete and reinforced concrete). To ensure the stability of thin but-tresses, stiffening girders (braces), which prevent buckling, are placed between them.

Buttress dams are divided into the following categories according to the type of pressure floor: massive-buttress, made of concrete with massive cantilever caps adjoining one another and forming a pressure floor (Figure 1, a); the slab-and-buttress type, with reinforced-concrete slabs (Figure 1, b); the multiple-arch type (arched or vaulted concrete and reinforced-concrete floors; Figure 1, c); and with double-curvature floors, particularly the dome (multiple-dome) type.

Figure 1. Buttress dams: (a) massive-buttress type, (b) slab-and-buttress type, (c) multiple-arch type

Both fixed and spillway buttress dams are built. In comparison with massive gravity dams, buttress dams (especially the multiple-arch type) produce savings of 40 percent and more in concrete and costs, depending on the design and local conditions. The height of buttress dams sometimes exceeds 100 m.


Grishin, M. M. Gidrotekhnicheskie sooruzheniia. Moscow, 1962.
Volkov, I. M., P. F. Kononenko, and I. K. Pedichkin.Gidrotekhnicheskie sooruzheniia. Moscow, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Based on an existing bottom outlet in a buttress dam, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of two-phase flow are performed in three dimensions, with the radial gate moving from its closed position and to the full opening.
The bottom outlet examined in the study is in a buttress dam constructed about 60 years ago.
In the reservoir, the intake follows the sloping face of the buttress dam. The conduit is rectangular in cross section, with a constant width of 5.5 m throughout the waterway.
This lake serves as a reservoir for the towns of Conwy and Colwyn Bay, and was also one of two reservoirs supplying hydroelectric power to the Dolgarrog Aluminium Works Left: From the depths of a disused slate mine near Blaenau Ffestiniog is seen a new project where the level of Llyn Stwlan will be raised by the 100feet high buttress dam, before 1960 An engine being hauled up the Dolgarrog incline to the Eigiau tramway, which helped with the building of the Eigiau Dam