Earthen Dam

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Earthen Dam


a dam built of soil materials (sand, loam, clay, and so on), with a trapezoidal or nearly trapezoidal cross section. Earthen dams are usually of the fixed type (without the flow of water over the crown); they are commonly used in many countries because of their simplicity of construction and maintenance. Six main types of earthen dams are distinguished, depending on the materials used for the body of the dam and the methods of providing waterimpermeability.

Earthen dams may be built on virtually any type of ground base (except strongly liquescent muddy soil). The watertight part of the dam (the baffle and core) is usually joined to the rocky base by a cutoff or a concrete joint tongue, under which a grouted cutoff is set in fissured rock. On a nonrock base, if the water-resistant material (clay or rock) is located at an acceptable depth, the impermeable part of the dam is joined to the water-resistant material by a positive ground cutoff, a sheet pile bulkhead, or a curtain (partial cutoff). A blanket or partial cutoffs and a sheet pile bulkhead, are installed for a deep-lying water support.

Earthen dams are distinguished according to their construction method as fill dams, which are built up by dry pouring of soil, with artificial consolidation and without consolidation (with pouring of the soil into the water or by means of a directed explosion), and hydraulic fill dams, the construction of which (the aggradation of the body of the dam) is accomplished by the hydromechanization method. The drainage of an earthen dam is usually made in the form of a drainage shell or a drainage mattress buried in the body of the dam. Rock fill and paving stone facing covered with concrete or reinforced-concrete slabs are used to protect the upstream (pressure) slopes of earthen dams against wave action. The downstream slopes are protected by planted grass, turf, poured gravel, and crushed stone. Modern mechanical excavation methods make possible the construction of earthen dams to heights of 150 m or more.


Grishin, M. M. Gidrotekhnicheskie sooruzheniia. Moscow, 1968. Stroitel’stvo, vol. 1. Moscow, 1964.(Entsiklopediia sovremennoi tekhniki.)


References in periodicals archive ?
When the Wachusett Reservoir was constructed at the turn of the last century, the earthen dams - or dikes - were intended to remain free of trees and shrubs to ensure their integrity.
The town previously applied unsuccessfully for a $400,000 state grant to pay the lion's share of the earthen dam upgrade, but officials plan to apply again, with hopes of success next time.
With the aid of previous state funding, a nearby cement dam and spillway at Lake Lashaway were improved within the past year, but when the state in 2006 provided a detailed report on the overall condition of the various floor control devices there, the earthen dam also was cited as needing improvement.
Aurangabad Providing and Constructing Water Supply Scheme of Nandgaon Village and Balance Pitching Work of Earthen Dam.
A draft report by the Bureau of Reclamation concludes that bolstering the earthen dam with 1.
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Ritter Park Associates had started construction on the improvements, including an earthen dam, but the developers suspended work on Ritter Ranch before a single home was built.
Approximately 1,600 trees at the south dike of the Wachusett Reservation, off of Routes 62 and 70 on the Clinton-Boylston line, will be cut down by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority beginning this spring because dead or dying trees could cause water from the nearby Wachusett Reservoir to penetrate root voids and cause earthen dam failure.
Hundreds of residents were evacuated from their homes in Ventura County, including in Santa Paula where residents feared the Santa Paula Creek would break through an earthen dam.
Tenders are invited for Repair and maintenance of street light arrangement from generator room to earthen dam site at Madikheda