Gravity Dam

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Related to Gravity Dam: Arch dam, Buttress dam

gravity dam

[′grav·əd·ē ‚dam]
(civil engineering)
A dam which depends on its weight for stability.

Gravity Dam


a dam of reinforced concrete or stone whose resistance to forces trying to move it (the pressure of water, ice, waves, and so on) is provided principally by the forces of friction along the foundation proportional to the weight of the dam itself.

The use of a gravity dam is widespread in both rocky locations (such as in the Bukhtarma and Krasnoiarsk hydroelectric power plants) and in nonrocky soils (such as in overflow dams of the Volga hydroengineering complexes). The most economical form of its cross section is similar to a triangle or a trapezoid. The principal parameter of a gravity dam is the ratio of the thickness of the dam at its base to its height, which depends on the characteristics of the supporting soil or of the rock. This parameter varies from 0.6 for rock to 1.2 for clay. The tallest existing gravity dam (1970) is 284 m (the Grande Dixence Dam in Switzerland).

The existence of a considerable strength factor in a gravity dam permits simplification in construction by use of wide temperature, keyed expansion joints (Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Plant), cavities filled with ballast or lacking ballast (Votkinsk Hydroelectric Power Plant), longitudinal galleries, and other engineering approaches that facilitate the work of the dam and reduce its cost.


References in periodicals archive ?
Cracking criteria of RCC gravity dam under triaxial stress states
constructed concrete gravity dam, (340) which retained the name Gold Ray
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The disaster was triggered by the failure of the Eigiau Dam, a small gravity dam.
The project includes a concrete gravity dam with a maximum height of 203 meters, with a total capacity of 1.
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ISLAMABAD -- The run-of-river Karot Hydropower Project, with concrete gravity dam having installed capacity of producing 720 mw power would be completed by 2020.
This gravity dam presents the largest hydraulic architectural feature known in the Maya area.
The new project will raise the existing 220-foot high concrete gravity dam, completed in 1943, by 117 feet and add 152,000 acre-feet of water storage to the Water Authority's system.
San Vicente Dam, a concrete gravity dam completed in 1943, stands 220 feet tall and provides a water storage capacity of 90,000 acre-feet.
The project involves construction of a 90 m high, Concrete Gravity Dam, 4 Nos.
A concrete gravity dam 135 m long and 47 m high will be constructed on Neelam River at Nauseri.