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Small Concrete Dams



5420 Old Orchard Road, Skokie, Illinois60077



This publication is based on the facts, tests, and authorities stated herein. tt is intended for the use of professional personnel compe. tent to evaluate the significmce and limitations of the reported tindings and who will accept responsibility for the applicatirm of the material it contains, Obviously, tbe Portland Cemem Aswciatim di?zlaims any and all respr.msibility for application of the stated principles or for the accuracy of any of the sources other than work performed or information developed by the Association

@ Portland Cement Association 1980 Printedin U.S.A. Libraryof Congresscatalogcard number74-141435

Introduction Project Investigation Chapter 1. Prellmlnary Inveatigationa Dam Classification Site Exploration Topography Foundation and Geological Investigation Hydrology Chapter 2. Design Forces Water Pressure Silt Pressure Ice Pressure Earthquake Forces Prestressing of Concrete Dams Chepter 3. Concrete Gravity Damson Rock Foundation Safety Factors Overturning Sliding Internal Concrete Stresses Design Example: Gravity Dam on Rock Foundation Chapter 4. Concreta Gravity Dama on Soft Foundationa Flow in Porous Material Seepage Forces Design Example: Gravity Dam on Pervious Foundation 5 Chapter 5. Arch Dama Theory Design Forces Basic Guides Stress Analysis Foundation Pmhlems and lteatment Structural Models Prestressing of Arch Dams Chaptar 6. Buttraaa Dama Design Forces Design Example: Buttress Dam Chapter 7. Spillwaya Stream Flows Spillway ~pes Spillway Control Capacity Energy Dissipators Model Studies Appandlx Excerpts fmm Geological Report on Subsurface Investigations Metric Tablaa 20 Rafarancea 26






45 46

The multiple uses for kuge volumes of water in modern society require overall planning for the conservation of water resources. Specifically, dam projects must be planned with all water uses in mind. In properly developed projects, many alternatives are considered but only one the greatest, most economical contribution to meeting the varied and interrelated needs for water supply, conservation, and flood control is selected. Individual projects should, of course, be incorporated in an overall plan for the river basin or region. The objective of this booklet is to focus attention on small dam projects. Emphasis is on the design considerations necessary to determine the feasibility and safety of small concrete dams and to help the designer determine which alternative is the most desirable economically. This booklet was prepared by several civil engineers of the Portland Cement Association, Dad E. Hallmark being the principal author of the first edition, published in 1971. Other contributors include Alfred L, Parme, Ralph M. Weaver, T. D. Lin, and Carl R. Wilder.

Gravity-type dams of uncemented masonry were built as long ago as 4000 B.C. The oldest recorded masonry dam was completed in 1586 near Almanza, Spain. It was constructed on rock, of rubble masonry, and s&d about 48 ft high. Early masonry dams were made with clay mortar; later, lime mortar was discovered and used. Modern dams are being built with portland cement concrete. Literally thousands of concrete dams are providing storage for water supply, irrigation, flood control, and power generation. Technological advances have made it possible to build dams appmaching 1,000 ft in height. This booklet provides information on small concrete dams less than 100 ft in height. However, the principles also apply to higher, more massive structures. Generally, design problems increase as the dam height increases, and solving them requires greater knowledge of the factors that govern the dam design. Dam safety becomes more important as dam height increases. Some low weir or diversion dams 6 to IO ft high may fail without serious damage to anything other than the dams themselves. However, as dam height increases, the greater volume of water in storage demands conservative designs to avert serious damage and loss of life due to failure. Dam safety, economy, and performance can be ensured by carefully applying the many factors that control performance. For a very small dam, the designer may make certain assumptions based on engineering principles and reduce the extent of the exploration and testing program at the damsite. limitations established by thesecontrol agencies. After it has been determined that a project is needed, feasibility and reconnaissance surveys are begun. These supply the data necessary to establish the benefits and cost of the project. At this stage, preliminary selections are made of the type or types of dam best suited for final study. Shortcut design and estimating procedures are used to arrive at initial project costs and benefits. A more detailed investigation follows approval of the reconnaissance survey. It determines the scope, magnitude, essential plans, benefits, and costs to support construction. Very often the information developed by this time for small dams is sufficient to detail the contract specifications. However, difficult foundation conditions, complex projects involving several uses, or hydrological factors may require further analysis. Project size by itself does not necessarily determine the need for more studies.

Many items are included in this general term. These may influence the purposes of the project, size of dam, damsite, and type of dam. In any river or stream project, statutory restrictions may exist regarding control of the waters. All legal requirements from local, state, dominion, or federal agencies must be determined early and followed prudently. In many cases, the dam project can proceed only within




The type of dam selected for B site dependa principally on topographical, geological, hydrological, and climatic condi{ions. Where nwre than one type can be built, alternative economic estimates are prepared and selection is based on economic considerations. Safety and performance are primary requirements, but construction time and materials often affect economic comparisons.

Dams are classified according to theirconstrucnon mater&, such as concrete or earth. Concrete dams are further classified as gravity, arch, buttress, or a combination of these. Earthfill dams are gravity dams built of either earth or rock materials.,2)* A concrete gravity dam depends on its own weight for structural stability. A gravity dam usually is straight, but may be slightly curved, with the waterload transmitted through the dam to the foundation. Ordinarily, gravity dams have a base width of 0.7 to 0.9 the height of the dam. Solid rock provides the best foundation condition. However, many small concrete dams are built on pervious or soft foundations and perform satisfactorily. A concrete gravity dam is well suidd for use with an overflow spillway crest. Because of this, a concrete gravity dam will serve effectively as the spillway section of an earthfill dam in wide flood-plain sites. Arch dams are well suited to narrow V- or U-shaped canyons. Canyon walls must be of rock suitable for carrying the transmitted waterload to the sides of the canyon by arch actlon. Arch sections carry the greatest part of the load; vertical elements carry sufficient load through cantilever action to produce cantilever deflections equal to arch de%tions. The portion of the load carried by arch action is somewhat inversely proportional to the radiusof the arch. That is, more of the load is carried by the arch if its radius is short, aa

Aerial view of Sissiboo River Dam, owned by the Nova Scotia Power Commission, Canada. Located 50 miles northeast of Yarmouth, this 66-ft-high, 511~A-long concrete gravity dam was built in 1960. It illustrates future planning for additional power facilities incorporated in initial construction. The roadway bridge consists of three prestressed beams per span supporting the deck. There are seven timber $op-log gates on the spillway.

is likely to be the case at a narrow damsite, than if the radius ib longer, as at a wider site. Since the vertical elements must carry, through cantilever action, that portion of the load not carried by arch action, those vertical rl?rnP-tC must be thicker as the arch radius increasec 7

,Azisof propo$ed dam

/ , ~. -- ---____________________ 2300 I




\\ 2300- .)

fig. 1.1. Contour map of site for deeign exemples. Tentative dam abutment ends are markad by circles at elevatlona 2,296.

A much-used indicator of the economy of an arch darnsite is the crest length-to-height ratio, For practical economics, an arch dam with a crest length-to-height ratio of 2 or 3 to 1 almost always will prove to be the most economical solution for that site, and in a few instances arch dams have been economical at ratios of 5 or 6 to 1. Multiple arches similarly transmit loads to the abutments or buttresses between successive arches. This type of dam is well suited to wider valleys, The main thrust and radial shears are transmitted to massive buttresses and then into the foundation material, Other types of buttress dams include flat-slab, mundhead m expanded-head-buttress, and multiple-dome types, The buttress dam adapts to all site locations, Downstream face slabs and aprons are used for overflow spillways similar to gravity-dam spillways, Tbe waterloads are transmitted to the foundation by two systems of load-carrying members. The flat slabs, expanded buttress heads, arches, or domes support the direct waterload and transmit it to the buttresses and through them to the foundation. In flat-slab buttress dams, at ype of construction that is seldom used except for very small dams, steel reinforcement is used to carry the flexural forces developed in the face dabs and buttress supports. Massive-bead buttresses eliminate almost all tension forces, and steel is not necessary. Combination designs may utilize one or more of the previously mentioned types of dams. For example, studies may indicate that an earthfill dam with a center concrete gravity overflow spillway section is the most economical in a wide, flat valley, Other design conditions may dictate a multiple. arch and buttress-dam section or a buttress- and gravity-dam combination.

will be based primarily on these two factors, However, the final choice usually will be controlled by the estimated construction cost, A site exploration requires the preparation of an accurate topographical map for each possible site in the general location. The scale of the maps should be large enough for layout of a dam, Exploration primarily determines the conditions that make sites usable or unusable. From the site explorations, tentative sketches can be made of the dam location and project features such as power plants, Physical features at the site must be ascertained to make a sketch of tbe dam and determine the position of materials and work plant during construction. Other factors that may influence selection oft ype of dam include the necessity for road. ways, fishways, locks, and log passageways. Fig. 1,1 is a topographical map of a damsite that has been occupied by a concrete arch dam. The design examples in Chapters 3, 4, and 6 are located at this site. The appendix, page 44, includes excerpts fmm the geologists report on his investigation of this damsite,

TOPOGRAPHY Topography often determines the type of dam for a particular site, For example, a narrow V-shaped channel may indicate that a concrete arch dam would be the most suitable. The topography indicates surface characteristics of the valley and the relation of the contours to the various requirements of the structure, Soundness of the rock must be included in the topographical study, In a location study, one should select the best position for the dam, An accurate sketch of the dam and how it fits into the topographical features of the valley often is sufficient to permit initial cost estimates, The tentative location of the other darn features such as spillways and power plants should k included in this sketch, since these items can influence the type and location of the dam. Topographical maps can be made from aerial surveys and subsequent contour plotting or sometimes obtained from governmental agencies. They generally give only the surface profile at the site. Further geological and foundation analyses are necessary for a final determination of dam feasibilityy.

SITE EXPLORATION The dam location is determined by the projects functions, The exact site within the general location must be determined by careful consideration of the projects objectives and studies of the available damsites. In preliminary studies, two primary factors must be considered: topography at tbe site and characteristics of the foundation materials. The fust choice of the type of dam 8



Geological conditions determine whether or not the foundation can support the weight of the dam. The foundation materials limit the type of dam to a great extent, although such limitations can sometimes be compensated for in design. Initial exploration may consist of a few core holes drilled at the tentatively selected site location, Their analysis in relation to the general geology of the area often rules out certain sites as unfeasible, particularly as dam height increases, Once the number of possible site locations has been narrowed down, more detailed geological investigations should be considered. All faults, fissures, contacts, zones of permeability, and other underground conditions must be accurately defined. The probable required excavation depth at all points should be derived from the core drill analysis. Extensive drilling into rock formations is not necessary for small dams. However, as dam height and safety requirements increase, investigations should be increased in depth and number. If foundation materials are soft, extensive investigations should determine their depth, permeability, and bearing capacity. It is not always necessary or possible to put a concrete dam on solid reck. Small concrete gravity dams may be founded on reasonably stable alluvial foundations, if adequate cutoffs are provided,(!) See also Chapter 4, The different foundations commonly encountered for dam constriction are (1) solid rock foundations, (2) gravel foundations, (3) silt or fine-sand foundations, (4) clay foundations, and (5) nonuniform foundations, Small darns on alluvial foundations (items 2 through 5) present some additional design problems such as settlement, prevention of piping, excessive percolation, and protection of foundation from downstream tos erosion. These problems must he considered in addition to the normal design forces of a concrete dam on a rock foundation. The same problems exist for earth dams. All these are discussed in Chapter 4. Geological formations can often be pictured in cross section by a qualified geologist if he has sufficient core drill holes upon which to base his overall concept of tbe geology. The plans and specifications should include the logs of the core drill holes and other explorations. However, they should not contain any of the overall geological conclusions arrived at by a geologist or designer from such logs. The appendix, page 44, includes excerpts from a geologists report fnr the example da.msite.

cientl y conservative to ensure structural safety. The importance of a safe spillway cannot be overemphasized. insufficient spillways have caused darn failures, While concrete dams are known to have withstood moderate to severe overtopping, adequate spillway capacity isessential for earth- and rockfill dams.

HYDROLOGY Hydrology studies are necessary to estimate the runoff vnlume and the time distribution of the flow. With these data the designer establishes both the peak discharge and tbe total inflow into the reservoir and can estimate dependable water availability for consumption and power generation. He also can estimate diversion requirements during construction, outlet, spillway, and emergency spillway requirements, and discharge capacity requirements for diversion dams. Hydrological studies are complex; however, simplified procedures may be used for small dams if estimates are suffi9


Design Forces
The primary function of a dam I> to raise the wattr level; therefore, the principal external force to be resisted by the dam is the pressure of impounded water. However, other forces also act on the structure. These forces (see Fig. 2.1), which are discussed in the following sections, are 1. water pressure, external and internal; 2. silt pressure; 3. ice pressure; 4. earthquake forces. In a grawty dam the weight of the dam ia the man force resisting the water pressure. In a sloping-face buttress dam part of the waterload stabilizes the structure. In arch dams, the waterload is transmitted through arch action into the abutments and the foundation; the mass of the dam is less of a stability component. The dam must be stable enough to preclude overturning, sliding, overstressing, and any secondary erosion that might cause sliding on the foundation. The designer should con-

Impounded water has tremendous potential energy, and falling water develops large kinetic forces that must be adequately dissipated. These forces are illustrated in this

view of the Keswick Dam and Power Plant near Redding, Calif. The dam, which is 159 ft high and 1,046 fl long, was built in 1950.

sider design forces carefully to determine the type of dam needed and the forces that will be applied to the structure,



The unit pressure of water increases in proportion to its depth. The water pressure acting normal to the dam face is represented by a triangular load distribution, The resultant of the load distribution is two-thirds of tbe distance from the water surface to the base of the section under consideratiorr, Tbe equation for unit water pressure is

wherew = unit weight ofwater (usually 62,41 bpercubic foot) h =distance in feet fmmwater surface topoint under consideration The resultant water pressure is given by the equation

Fig. 2,1. Illustration of forces acting ons dsm, In small gravity dams the upstream face is generally vertical; therefore, the water pressure is computed by this equation, As the height increases, the upstream face sometimes is slight~y inclined, Tbe vertical waterloadon such sections is the weight of the volume of water vertically above that section. This load contributes to the stability of the section, but is usually neglected in small dams. In buttress dams the waterload on the upstream face, which usually is inclined, akocontributes testability of the section. Internal or uplift forces occur as pressures in the pores, cracks, andseams in both thedam and dam foundation. The void spaces within the concrete and the foundation material are filled with water that exerts a pressure in all directions. Tbe uplift pressure intensity depends on the waterheads, that is, the reservoir depth and the distance from the upstream fidce to the point under consideration, Uplift pressures occur in concrete and rock foundations as well as in soft pervious foundations. The total uplift force used in design is largely a matter of judgment based upon the character of the foundation, the steps taken to eliminate percolation, the probable deficiency of foundation drains, and the construction methods. For hollow and buttress dams, the spaces between the buttresses relieve the uplift forces in the foundation. However, when such dams are placed on soft pervious foundations, care must be exercised to avoid piping of the foundation material through the drain outlets. Uplift pressures under a concrete dam on a pervious foundation are related to seepage through permeable materials. Water flowing through the pervious material is slowed down by frictional resistance. The amount and intensity of uplift flow under the dam must he considered where dams are constructed on pervious foundations. Uplift is important for all dams on pervious foundations. Various methods of reducing uplift forces apply to all types of foundations. These include grouting a nearly irnPer-

vious core wall at the upstrvam Face of the dam, providing drains near the upstream face of the dam as a free outlet for the water, various cutoff walls, or combinations of these safety measures. The presence of seams, fissures in rock foundations, and the flow underneath the dam in pervious foundations all require certain assumptions for uplift forces. For a rock foundation, itissafe tomsume astraighdine variation from headwater to tailwater pressures as a measure of uplift. This pressure will beoverthe entire area of the dam. Any other uplift variation should reverified byelectricanalogue methods or comparative mralysisto similar existing structures. The details of uplift forces for dams on pervious foundations must be determined from a flow net analysis that includes properly placed aprons, cutoffs, drainage, and other devices to control tbe intensity of UPIift. Tbe uplift pressure at any point A is computed by the Westergaard equation PU =H2
+ :(H, H2);

the terms

aredefined in Fig. 2.2. [nthisequation, P,, isinfeet of water and is converted to unit pressure bymultiplying by the term w, unit weight of water. Tbe uplift factor, k, refers to the location of the drainage system and its effectiveness in reducing uplift. Drains placed near the upstream face, behind a grout curtain, permit a reduction of k from 1.0 (no drainage system) to 0.5. The reduced pressure varies over the total area and isassumed asastraighdiner eduction shown by the dashed line in Fig. 2.2. Additional information on the effect of uplift pressure due to foundation drains can be obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation publication Design of Grdvity Dams. i) Foundation drainage on small dams is seldom economically feasible; total uplift is assumed in design. However, for moderate dam heights, the designer should consider Ii

tig, 2.2. Relationship

L of uplift preeeure.

Tbe force (Fig. 2. 3) exerted by expanding ice depends on ice thickness, rate of temperature rise in the ice, fluctuations on the water surface, reservoir shores, dnpe of upstream face of the daar, and wind drag. It should be nnted, as indicated in Fig. 2.1, that the ice load is applied tn the dam at the normal water surface elevation, not at the maximum water elevatiofi. The rate of temperature rise in the ice is a function nf the rate ofrisenf theairtemperature andthesnow cover on the ice. Lateral restraint of theicesheet depends nnthecharacbr of the reservoir shores and slope of the upstream face of the dam, Dams with slightly inclined slnpestend to resist ice pressure better than those with vertical slnpes. Shores that are flat tend tnhnld the ice sheet from movement, and this may lessen the force upon the dam. In small dams the ice problem is significant in the design of control structures, spillways, and gated devices.

an inspection gallery with proper relief drains in the concrete and in the foundation. Relief drains into the dam drainage gallery are placed vertically and on about 10-ft centers. In tbe foundation, they are drilled from the gallery to a depth of four- to six-tenths the hydrostatic head or two-thirds the depth of the cutoff wall or grout curtain.

SILT PRESSURE Nearly all streams carry silt during normal and flood flows. Some silt flow is deposited in the reservoir created by the dam. If allowed tnaccumulate ontheupstream fnce of the dam, the silt exerts loads greater than hydrostatic pressures. For small dams it is safe to assume that the silt load has a unit pressure equivalent to that of a fluid weighing 85 lb per cubic foot and a vertical weight of 120 lb per cubic foot. Sometimes the water-suspended silt is carried past the darn in special conduits, which prevent itsdeposit ontheupstream face of the dam, As control of the river flow is improved, less silt will accumulate and the silt Ioadwillbc less significant. Generally, a silt load develops slowly upon the dam face. As a result, the silt settlement tends to consolidate and partially support itself in the reservoir. For most small gravity and nrch dams, the silt load is usually not important, However, on buttress dams with a sloping face, this accumulation may increase pressures significantly. I.efowinkips par Iineor foot

Fig. 2.3. tceforce with nolateral restraint andlncludlng solsr ensrgy.



Earthquakes impart accelerations to the dam, Both vertical nnd horizontal earthquake loads are produced from these accelerations, Todetermine thetotal forces dueto an earthquake, the intensity of acceleration due to the seismic motinn must hcestablisbed. Accelerations nreexpressed as percentages of gravity forces. In areas not subjected to extreme earthquake conditions, a horizontal acceleration of 0.1 g and a vertical acceleration of 0.05 g are generally used for design. The force toaccelerate themass, kf, of adam is found from the equation

ICE PRESSURE Ice pressures are prnduced by a thermal expansion in the ice sheet and by wind drag. When subjected to a temperature increase, ice expands and exerts a thrust against the upstream face of a dam, Depending on the rate of temperature change, ice thickness, and other envirrmmental conditions, a design ice pressure of 8 to 20 kips per linear foot is usually assumed, Ice pressures are significant in all types of dam design, In gravity and buttress dams where overflow spillway and spillway gates are common, the gates should be heated to prevent ice from forming. Structural thickness at the dam crest must be sufficient to withstand stresses created by the ice sheet, 12

wbere P,< = hnrimntal earthquake force, pounds per square foot a = earthquake acceleration, ft/SeC2 g =acceleratinn nfgravity, ft/secI


damnrblock, pounds persquarefwt

a =rationf a tog The force P,c actstbrough being studied. thecenterofgravity nfthesection

The inertia force in pounds per square foot of the water is found hy
Pew = Ca wh


0.2 0,3 0,4 h Y/H 0,5 0,6 0,7 0.8 0,9 l++!!! 1.0 9 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.6 Pree.ure coefficient C where cm is maximum at y/ Hsl.O fig. 2.4 Horizontal earthquake coefficient for computing hydrodynamic load on verticel and Inclined eurfeces. 60 45,

where C = dimensionless coefficient for the distribution and magnitude of pressures ~ = ratio of earthqu&e acceleration t acceleration of gravity, a/g ~ = nit weight of water, pounds per cubic foot
h = total

depth of reservoir water in feet

The dimensionless coefficient is defined in terms of the face slope and its maximum value C. by

C=++t-:)+m)] where y = vertical distance fmm reservoir surface to elevation under study in feet Values of C are obtained from Fig. 2.4. The total horizontal force ~, above any elevation y, distance below the reservoir surface, and tbe overturning moment, M,, above that elevation are given as
V. = 0.726 P,.y


M, = 0.299 P,.yz

Other forces that may be pertinent to dam analysis are wave pressures and windloads, These usually are not sufficiently significant to be applied to small dams.

Vibration or resonance caused by earthquakes is not likely to occur in low- to moderate-height dams. Therefore, this element is not usually a design problem for low dams. The inertia force of the concrete should be applied at the center of gravity of the mass regardless of the shape of the cross section. Vertical motion may also occur during an earthquake, with a resultant vertical inertia force that acts momentarily to reduce the effective weight of the dam. The waterload tends to produce an overturning moment on the dam. The inertia force in the vertical motion upward tends to cause the concrete and water above the dam face to weigh less, This reduces tbe stabilit y of the structure against sliding forces. Other forces that may be pertinent are wave pressures and windloads. As with ice forces, the inertia forces of the water should be calculated with the water at its normal elevation, not at the maximum water surface.




Prestressing may be worthwhile for some small gravity dams that arerm competent rock foundations. Prestressing increases dam safety and may permit a moderate height increase of an existing structure. Prestressing involves anchoring a gravity or buttress dam to the rock foundation with steel cables or rods. The prestress elements are inserted into vertical holes drilled or left open in tbe concrete and securely anchored into the foundation. After theconcrete has attained sufficient strength, the cables are stressed by jacks at the top of the dam. Some dams that have been prestressed in this manner are listed in Fable 2.1. See Chapter 5 for a discussion of horizontal prestressing of arch dams.

Table 2.1. Prestressed Name Mahinerangi Dam Hume Dam SwallowFalls Dam AvonDam

Concrete Dsms TyPe Gravity Gravity Y9arand type of construction 1960.61, strengthening 1959-6o, raising and strengthening 1956-5S, new i 954-58, new with provision for future raising

Location New Z9aland Austrafia

Buttress South Africa United Kingdom Gravity




Concrete Gravity Dams on Rock Foundations

The designer of any dam must make basic assumptions regarding site conditions and their effects on the proposed structure. Site investigations provide the engineer with much of the information needed to evaluate these assumptions, which form the basis for safe dam design. Some important assumptions for small dam design involve uplift pressure, seepage control measures, channel degradation and downstream toe erosion, foundation conditions, and quality of construction. Additional but sometimes not so important assumptions should involve silt loads, ice pressures, earthquake accelerations, and wave forces. The degree to which design is affected by these items depends largely on the type and size of dam, the maximum water pressures, and the character of the foundation material. The designer should evaluate the assumptions for any dam and design a dam with ample safety factors.a

Selecting the proper safety factors IS very important to the economics of a dam project. Large safety factors result in a more costly structure; however, low safety factors may result

Flood ft-high

control often requires high dams. However, a 66. dam with concrete spillway was completed in 1958

on Little River near Charlton, Mass. A unique channel was maintained in this structure.

low water

Table 3,1. Allowable Sliding Factora for Varioua Foundation cafe slidng factor, Material Concrete on concrete Concrete on sound rock, clean and irregular surface Concrete on rock, some laminations Concrete on gravel and coarse sands Concrete on sand Concrete on shale Concrete on silt and clay ,Testsrequiredto determine safety. in failure, which could also iead to high costs. Proper safety factors result only from an adequate determination of siiding, overturning and overstressing forces within and acting on the dam, which could cause failure of the dam.

Conditiona Shear sking factor,


%ggested minimum factor of safety,





0.7 0,4 0.3 0,3 .

1-1.6 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5*

larger. If tbe computed safety factor falls below 2, tbe section of tbe dam should be modified to increase the safety margin to a factor of at least 2. A gravity dam rarely faiis from overturning. Tbe reason forpmviding safety against overturning is that a tendency to overturn provides greater opportunisty fnr a sliding force tn create the failure.

OVERTURNING The safety factor against overturning is the ratio of the righting moment to the overturning moment about the toe of the dam,@) This can be expressed as

SLIDING Three approaches are used by engineers in evaluating tbe safety of a dam against being displaced downstream. Each bas merit and invoives the same genetal relationship of forces. Although tbe computed values are safe, they are considerably different. Thethree approaches are(l) a safe slidingfwtor, (2) a safety factor, and(3) asbear-friction safety factor. Clear distinction must be made among these three approaches. The primary purpose of each is to establish a safe coefficient that when exceeded would put the dam in jenpardy of being pushed downstream. The siiding factor is the coefficient of friction required to prevent sliding of any horizontal plane in tbe dam or upon its foundation. Forsmail dams thesliding factor normally determines safety against siiding. This approach does not employ shear forces; bowever, shear forces are assumed as added safety in design. Also, this approach penalizes concrete dams on mck foundations because a smailer section could be used with the inclusion of shear forces in this factnc The sliding factor of a gravity dam with a horizontal base equals the tangent of the angle between tbe perpendicuku to the base andtbe resultant foundation reaction. The sliding factor fnr small dams is computed by taking tbe ratio of the summation nf horizontal forces, 2P, tn tbe summation of vertical forces, MK including tbe uplift, U, or


C PX13+U



inwhich Wc z force duetoweight of concrete

W. P U

=forcedue =forceof



watcracting todisplace dam downstream

= uplift force = length of moment arm for respective forces

All forces (except the resultant foundation force) should be considered in computing this safety factor. Other forces may be. wave, ice, earthquake, and silt pressure. Another method of evaluating tbe safety factor against overturning relafes to internal stresses. Iftbe vertical stress at the upstream edge of any horizontal section computed without uplift exceeds the uplift pressure at that point, the section above that point is considered safe against overturning. This computation can be used for small dams, but is not recommended for dams of great height. Also, iftheuplift pressure attheupstream face exceeds the vertical stress at any horizontal section without uplift, the uplift forces greatly increase the tendency for overturning about the downstream toe at that assumed horizontal plane. Tbe dam may still be considered safe if the tension stresses developed are less than tbe allowable stresses in the concrete and the foundation materinl. This assumption is based on good workmanship and development of atensiie strength within thestmcture onallborizontal planes. A gravity dam usually is designed so that there will be no tension (or a limited tensile force) in the upstream face under severe loading conditions. Ordinarily, the safety factor against overturning should be between 2 and 3. In smaller dams it often is

If~ computed in this manner, is equal to or less than tbe static friction coefficient, f, the dam is considered safe. A unit width of 1 ft is assumed for these calculations. Safe values for the sliding-factor coefficient are given in Table 3.1 for various foundation materials. Soft foundation materials must also be checked for piping conditions. Tbe factor of safety, fs, against sliding is defined as tbe ratio of the coefficient of static frictinn, f, to tbe tangent of 15

Table 3,2. Weighted Creep Reties end Loed-Besrlng Vslues of Foundation Meteriele Lanes weighted creep ratio. 8,5 7,0 6,0 5.0 4,0 3,5 3.0 3.0 2.5 3.0 2,0 1.6 1,6 B~ghs coefficients18 15 12 9 4-6 Allowable bearing values, tons per sq ft 3 dense 1 Ibose 3 3 5 5 5-1o 5-1o 10

Material Veryfine sand or silt Fine sand Mediumsand Coarse sand Fine gravel Metium gravel Gravel and sand Coarse gravel, includingcobbles Boulders with somo cobbles and aravel Boulders, gravel, and sand soft clay Mediumclay Hard clay Veryhard clay or hardpan Good rock , Foruse insoftfoundation mdysls (Chapter4),



the angle between a perpendicular to the base and the direct foundation reaction, expressed as:

This approach also assume! shear forces as added safety measures. The s6fety factor against sliding is usually between 1 and 1.5 for gravit y dams on reck, utilizing a conservative cress section. The inclusion of uplift and seismic forces in tbe calculations may reduce the safety factor to about unity. These values are fm safety against sliding ona horizontal plane; if the foundation slopes downstream, the safety factors against sliding on the plane of the base are correspondingly reduced. Designers often use concrete placed into cutoffs or rock foundations to decrease the sliding tendency of the dam. In any type of cutoff, the anchorage must be prevented frnm shearing from the dam structure, On earth foundations, a large safety fnctor is necessmy to prevent sliding on planes in the earth hclow the foundation surface, Obtaining artificial bond to increase the coefficient of friction is less effective in soft foundations, Deep anchored cutoff wails and aprons increase the resistance to d iding. A properly proportioned cutoff reinforced into the dam prevents dispkrcement by internal shear resistance of the material into which the cutoff is constructed, A cutoff has to move an additional volume of soil or rock before the structure can slide, Another approach, favored by many engineers, includes the evaluation of shear into the safety fnctor. The sheafriction relationship is: =Y (W ;PU) + bu

Safety factors computed in this manner shnuld approach values used in normal structural computations. Static friction values often assumed for concrete on mck or concrete on concrete surfaces vary fmm 0.65 to 0.75. The working shear stress, u, of concrete is related to the compressive strength of the concrete. Ordinarily, concrete in gravity dams should have a compressive strength of at least 2,000 psi at the end of 28 days, Much stronger concrete (ultimate strength) is necessary to meet durability requirements, The unit shearing strength of concrete is about one-fifth the compression breaking stress of standard cylinders, This indicates a shearing strength of 400 to 800 psi for concrete in dams. It also provides a safety factor of 4 if the unit working shear stresses used in computations are 100 to 200 psi, Greater working stresses are not recommended unless the concrete for the smaller dams is actually pretested, The shear friction approach to sliding applies to concrete on concrete or concrete on rnck surfaces, If small dams nre placed on soft foundation material, shear friction application is limited, The designer should consider the influence of construction joints and foundation joints on the shearing strength, With methods, tbe shearing strength at construction joints above the base is essentially that of good concrete. The shearing strength at the foundation, where the concrete is placed on a smooth rock surface, may be les. sened. Frictional force possibly develops from this type of joint. A rough, irregular rock foundation develops a stronger shear-friction plane; the shear-friction factor may use the lower shear value, i.e., concrete or rnck,





in which b c

base length at plac of shear being studied

= allowable working shear stress of material 01 materials at plane of shear

The unit stresses in the concrete and foundation materials must be kept within prescribed maximum values to avoid failures, Small dams normally develop stresses within the concrete less than the actual strength that may develop if the proper concrete mix is used. A concrete mix that ensures


durability will normally have sufficient strength to provide an adequate safety factor against overstressing, The possibility of overstressing the foundation material must also he investigated. fn small dams this is pertinent in jointed rocks and soft foundations such as gravel and sand, The designer should check the local codes for allowable beaiing pressures and confer with qualified engineers to evaluate the foundation materials. Table 3.2 provides suggested allowable bearing values for initial studies and guides in designing small concrete dams. If there is any doubt as to the classification and adequacy of the foundation materials, laboratory and field ksts should determine the allowable bear. ing values, However, for most small dams the unit bearing pressures nn rock foundation materials will be considerably less than the values given in Table 3,2. Bearing values and design procedures for soft foundations are cnvered in a subsequent section. Overturning and excessive compressive stress can be avoided if the proper shape and dam cross section are selected, ~pical working stresses emplo yed in the design of concrete gravity dams are 600 to 1,000 psi in compression and O to 100 psi for tension. Tensile stresses are generally avoided by maintaining the resultant of all forces within the middle third of the base of tbe section under study.



fig. 3.1, Concrete

grevit y dam center block cross section.

By making the assumption linearly from amaximumofwH, theuplift, U, iscomputedas DESIGN EXAMPLE: GRAVITY DAM ON ROCK FOUNDATION f/=u,H, ~ () 2 =62,4 X51X3J 2

that uplift pressure varies attheheel to Oat the toe,

The process of designing a gravity dam consists of calculations to estimate a shape of darn with tbe prescribed limits of safety, asdiscussed earlier in this chapter, andtn determine the stresses in tbe dam and its foundation, A tentative cress section is estimated for the center gravit y block to fitthecontour mapandpmfile. Abase length, L, is estimated from thewater depth bytheequation, L = (0.7to 0,9) H. If H = 51 ft, as in the example of Fig. 3.1, assume L = 0.725, H= 37 ft. The gravity block for tentative analysis of stability is the triangular section, MNP. The principal forces are illustrated in Fig. 3.1. Computations are basedon tbe assumptions that the unit weight of concretes 1501bper cubic foot and that of water, 62.41b per cubic foot. Weight of concrete for a 1-ft-thick section is computed as
WC, =

= 58,874 lb per foot nf dam crest The uplift force diagram and resultant are illustrated in F,g. 3.1. Thetendency of the damtoovertum is found by taking moments about the toe. The overturning (clockwise) moments are due to the hydrostatic pressure of the water on the upstream face of the dam and tbe hydrostatic uplift on the base, The sum of these overturning moments is
Mc=P,. x/2+ ux/, x17) +(58, g74 x24.67)


(volume MNP) (unit weight concrete) X150

= 2,831,988



= 141,525 lb per foot dum crest Pressure of water is

P. = (% H12) (unit

W=,. Its

The tendency to overturn is resisted by the mass of the dam, stabilizing (counterclockwizs) murmmt is
M<., =WC,


weight water)

=141,525 = 3,491,421

P. = h Y.

512 X 62.4

ft-lb is the ratio of the

= gl,151 lb per foot dam crest The weight force, W,,, acts through the center nf gravity of the section, The water pressure force, P., acts through the one-third pint of the force triangle.

The safety factor against overturning mOments MCC/M,,or

Safety factor = 3,491,000/2,832,000 = 1.23 17

A safety factor greater than 1,5 is desirable when earthquake, ice, etc, are not included in this calculation, Therefore, the section must be modified to increax the stabilizing moment or reduce the uplift force, Initial stability efforts should he pointed toward increasing the stabilizing moment, Often the safety factor will be 1,1 or 1,2 when all forces are properly evaluated. An increase in stabilizing moment may be obtained by increasing the base length; therefore, the base length of the triangular section was increased and the ~sultant safety factor computed to illustrate the effects of lengthening the base: upm Full Full Full 213 Base length, tt 37 (0.725H) 42 (0,E125fi) 4a (0.902H) 37 Safety factor against overturning 1,23 1,38 I ,4a I .4a

positive drainage system and gallery within the dam, Still, the dam may be adequately safe if the vertical heel (upstream) stress is zero or sufficiently in compression when all forces are considered in design. Fig. 3,2 is of the modified section and shows those forces and moments listed in Table 3,3, The normal pressures and stresses on tbe horizontal planes are computed by the trapezoidal formula r (stress) = AE i ~ For the minimum vertical normal stress at the upstream face for a section 1 ft wide and in units of psi, this becomes ~hee, . & ~ _&e L 144L () and the maximum compressive is stress at the downstream face

Note that arbitrarily increasing the base length does not increase the safety factor significantly for the triangula section. Inmost designs the dam-crest section has a considerable thickness for gates, roadway, etc., that adds to the righting moment. However, this increase may not he sufficient for safety, so the designer must modify the section. Placing an upstream batter on the dam may be the most efficient means of modifying the cross section to increase tbe safety factor against overturning, For this example, the trial base length is increased to 46 ft, as shown in Fig, 3,1. The vertical distance, &fN, is assumed,to be 45 ft. The forces and moments calculated for this cross section are shown in Table 3,3. The total clockwise moment, including uplift, is 3,628,000 ft-lb, The counterclockwise moment is 5,389,000 ft-lb. Therefore, the safety factor against overturning is 1.485 for full uplift and 1,87 for % of full uplift, At this point, the designer may consider reducing uplift with a

~toe=XJJ ,+ge 144L () L in which e is the eccentricity the eccentricity of the resultant, In this case

is given by e = ~ ~,

Tbe eccentricity

can be computed directly by taking moments, not including uplift, about the center of gravity of the horizontal section, However, moments are readily available about the toe, and , = 46 2 4,O1O,IMO 187,905

= 1,66 ft Average stress is

w a =

a ~=


28.4 psi (4,090 psf)

Maximum stress at the toe is \\ \ a toe = 28.4 ( Minimum stress at the heel is I +) = 34.5 psi(4,970psf)

Centrold off!oti \



9 t= fig, 3,2, Modified section of dam to provide edequete safety sgelnet overturning. 18

Following the rule of zero stress at the heel including uplift (but not earthquake, silt, or ice) for the design conditions, we see that the dam is safe against overturning. Uplift stress at the heel is 3,188 psf or 22.1 psi, wbicb is less than tbe heel stress of 22.2 psi. In other words, the upstream face remains in compression, although by a very small amnunt, A greater uplift force, when combined with the other loadings, could conceivably force open ktrge cracks along the base by exceeding the tensile strength of tbe concrete on concrete or concrete on rock, or because of a poor construction plane, For a feasibility analysis, the designer can proceed to check the sliding factor of safet y, f, as follows:

f = z3-

u = ,87,9&!5&35


According to Table 3.1, this provides safety against sliding for concrete on concrete, concrete on sound rock, and concrete on rock with some laminations. Consideration should be given to providing keyways in poor-quality rock foundations, Internal stresses within the dam are low and quite uniform, since the resultant of the loads is well within the middle third of the section. The design of small gravity dams will almost never he controlled by internal stresses. The volume of material used is important in a feasibility study to estimate costs. Volume of the center section is approximately ~+ 2
~ = 1,146 cu = 42.4 cu

ft per foot width yd per foot width

= 850 cu yd per 20 ft width Estimates of the total volume for a gravity dam also include the volume per foot for various heights of dam and the number of feet of the various heights required to bridge the site. Additional concrete uses would be in tbe spillway and outlet structures, which could total several hundreds or thousands of cubic yards. Having estimated the concrete volume, the engineer must arrive at a total cost for the project. These costs depend to a great extent on local conditions, including convenience of access to the site, the availability of materials and contractors interested in dam building, and many others too numemus to mention, For assistance in estimating the production and placement costs of the concrete, reference 5, Cost of Mass Concrete in Dams, will be helpful.

Table 3.3. Modified Deeism Forcee end Momente Moment arm, ft 41.5 43,0 24.67 40.0 17.0 30,67 Moment about P, ft-lb 140,000 543,000 3,491,000 1,215,000 i ,379,000 2,249,000

Force, lb
(1) WW1=62.4X6X9 (2) WW2= 62.4 X 9

3,370 X~ 12,635 141,525 30,375 81,151 73,335

(3) w,, = 150 x 51 Xy (4) WC*=150 x45xg (5) Pw = 62,4 x 51 X~ (6) U =62,4 x51x~ 2



Concrete Gravity Dams on Soft Foundations

Dams on soft foundation materials must be safe against tbe same forces as dams on good rock foundations, In addition, the designer must consider the effects of seepage, piping underneath the dam, and subsidence or consolidation of the foundation materials, From an engineering viewpoint, the water movement below or through a dam is not objectionable if the flow does not exceed safe limits of design, It is essential that seepage and piping through the foundation not be so great that the soil particles move sufficiently to cause the dam to fail. Soft foundation materials include clays, sands, alluvial gravels, highly fractured rocks, soft brcccias, and shales (as well as other rock of low bearing values and low resistance to sliding). The prevention of piping is a major design consider. ation with these foundation materials, The total flow may be sufficient to make it economically desirable to seal off the permeable zone, since water that passes under or around the dam is lost for that particular project, Uplift pressures generated by seepage under the dam may be of such a magnitude that it will Lwdifficult and expensive to stabilize the resulting undesirable overturning moment and possible sliding on or in the foundation. The coefficient, k, is determined by several methods. Tbe most satisfactory and economical for small dams is the pumping-in test. In this test, water is pumped into a drill hole or test pit; the seepage rate is observed under a given waterbead. The pumping-out test is relatively expensive, and results are more difficult to interpret, This test measures gross permeability by pumping water from a well hole at a constant rate and measuring the drawdown of the water table in observation wells at various distances from the pumped well. The dye test relates the rate of flow of a dye or electrolyte from tbe point of injection to an observation well. This test requires several trials, since tbe assumed direction of flow for the dye may or may not be along the underground flow paths, Several trials (with observation-well relocations) may bc needed to estimate permeability adequately. The pumped-in test provides reliable results from stratified foundations, With this test, permeabilities are estimated for each layer of material as tbe hole is drilled. The accuracy of underseepage (as determined by the Darcy formula) depends on the homogeneity of the foundation material and the reliability of the determined permeability coefficient. A weighted coefficient should be applied to a nonhomogeneous foundation material, Horizontal permeability is normally much greater than vertical permeabilities,




Flow through porous material may bc estimated by using the Darcy equation: Q = kiA where Q = discharge in a given unit of time
k =



coefficient of permeability for the foundation, i.e., discharge through a unit area at unit hydraulic gradient hydraulic gradient, difference in head divided by length of path, h/L area of foundation through which flow takes place

= gross

Seepage forces exist in all gravitational flow through soils. Their effects on the stability of tbe soil mass and any structure placed upon the soil need to be determined. Water flowing through the soil exerts a force on the soil mass in the direction of flow; this force is proportional to the hydraulic gradient, The hydraulic gradient is the force pushing the writer through the soil. Opposing this force is friction, a measure of bead loss per unit distance of flow movement. The stability of the structure depends on soil particles not moving with the


water as it passes through the soil media. To prevent a blowout or piping failure, the driving force must be nearly dissipated by friction forces over the Iengtb of the base of the dam. The magnitude of the seepage forces through the foundation and at the downstream toe of the structure depends on the rate ofheadloss oftbemovingwatec impervious soils are not as susceptible to piping because they offer greater resistance to flow, and the rescrvnir head is largely dissipated by friction. On the other hand, pervious snils (and stratified or fractured reck) may permit substantial flow movement at tbe downstream toe of the dam without much loss of head due tn friction. Insuchinstances, thedesigns must reinvestigated tn ensure against blowouts. Another type of failure is due to internal erosion from springs near thedownstreanrtne, which proceeds upstream along the base nf the dam, the walls of a conduit, a bedding plane, or other type of weakened zone. This t ype of failure is due to subsurface erosinn. The magnitude and distribution of seepage forces maybe determined byaflnw-net analysis, Aflownetis a graphic representation of percolation paths and lines of equal potential (pressure plus elevation above a datum) in subsurface flnw. The flow net used to ascertain structural stability has some serious limitations, For one, the flnw-net methnd nf analysis is virtually independent of grain size; theoretically, failure should nccur immediately after filling of the reservoir. Experience shows that this is not completely true. Grain size and gradation do have a hearing on piping failures that occur after thedamhas been in service. The flow netis limited in the analysis of pmblemsof stratified flow or problems of subsurface spring erosion failures. Further, drawing an accurate flnwnet requires considerable experience, particularly when cutoff walls are used and the foundation soils are not homogeneous, The problem in snft-foundation dam design is to prevent piping while maintaining a safe, economical structure. A cnncrete dam set on a pervious foundation maybe viewed as a structure creating a conduit under and around itself tbrougb which water can flow frnm the reservoir pool to the tailwater downstream. The design nbjective tn prevent piping is twnfold: tn make this cnnduit long ennugh, and tn create sufficient tilction within the material to reduce velocities below values capable of moving the soil particles. Controlling particle mnvement at the toe or downstream end nf the flnw line, usually under or around the dam, is important. Piping occurs when the pressure exerted on the soil by moving water exceeds the resistive force offered by the soil. The seepage force, Pfi exerted on the soil by the water, equals theunit weight nfwater, w, times the hydraulic gradient, i, which acts onaunit volume of soil. lfthesoil ishomogenenus, the force acts uniformly on the whole snil mass. The critical point for incipient piping is at the downstream toe of the dam. Darcys lawpermits a theoretical basis forpmvidingan adequate length of water travel beneath a dam. The relationship for discharge may be stated as
Q =kiA = C(H$

=Iength ofpath, in feet

Cl =coefficient dependent onthcmaterid Fromcnntinuity, Q =.4 V;hence, L =C,~.

Foragiven material, there isa maximum velocity, K at which water can emerge from below the dam without causing failure by carrying away the foundation material. The length nf travel is established by the weighted line of creep, as proposed by Larre,(6)Lanes procedure places greater emphasis on vertical travel than on the horizontal paths (in contrast with Blighs equal weight values), In computing the line of creep for Lanes procedure, the horizontal distances nf flow are taken asnne-third the vertical distances. Vertical distances, including 45 slopes, are taken as full-length val. uesfnr creep distance. Safe design values for both methods are given in Table 3,2, page 16. One point not fully evaluated in either procedure concerns incipient piping below the dam, Both Lane and Bligh recognize the increased hydraulic gradient at the downstream tne by requiring that cutnffs and drainage filters be properly placed at the toe, A safe pressure gradient must be ensured at this critical point in design, The mnre rapid the upward reduction in pressure, the less stable the material, until at a critical value thematerial actually flnatsor moves out, This critical value is expressed as
:=(sl)(I P)

where S = specific gravity of material

P =

percentage of voids in material expressed as a decimal

where Q = discharge, cfs

H =

head (reservoir depth), in feet

Safety fmm toe flotation can best be accomplished by providing a cutoff wall and sand-drain filter upstream of the wall, with pipe drains carrying the water intn the tailwater or to some nther safe discharge point. These effectively reduce uplift pressures and eliminate piping. This type of cutnff should be made in conjunction with an upstream cutoff wall that reduces uplift forces. The upstream cutoff should be placed thrnugh the pcrvious and into the stable and impervious formation. However, it need not be deeper than the base length of the dam. Shallower cutoffs will not adequately reduce uplift and seepage forces in pervious foundations. The electrical analogy is a rapid, economical method nf analyzing cutoff walls and dam foundation conditions. This method makes use of Darcys law to develop a flow net that is analyzed for the various forces and critical conditions nf flnw. A typical flow net is illustrated in Fig. 4,1. Flow nets also can be constructed by a mathematical method, graphic method, or mndel experiments. The flow net consists of flnw lines and equipotential lines. Flow lines denote the paths water takes from the reservoir pnol to the tailwater. Equipotential lines refer to planes of equal pressure. The rate of flow between flow lines is equal. The rate of energy loss is reflected by the equipotential lines. Some pertinent pnints can be seen by studying Fig. 4.1. A flow concentration occurs at the bnttom of each cutoff, as shown by flow lines being clnser together (equal flow between flnw lines). From the upstream soil surface to the 21


L ~loW ,[.,$ Hg.

4,1, ~pical

flow net diagram.

base of the cutoff, about 5/19 of the energy, H, has been dissipated, On the equipotential line under the center of the dam, almost 50% of the reseryoir head is dissipated in creating flow, Similar analysis can be made of the downstream cutoff. Without a downstream cutoff or filter, tbe flow lines would concentrate at the toe of the concrete. A 50% dissipation of reservoir head also means that the uplift pressure is similarly reduced, uplift being directly related to reservoir head. For more detailed information on uplift pressures, flow nets, and seepage flows, see references 4, 6, 7, and 8,

will be used as tbe starting point for this design. The average pressure is 28,4 psi, with heel pressure of 22,2 psi and tne pressure of 34.5 psi, The sliding factor is 0.71, so the design must he further modified for this sand-gravel foundation, However, before the design is modified for sliding, it should be developed to prevent piping and possibly obtain safety against sliding at the same time. According to Lanes criteria, the weighted creep ratio should be about 3,0, Lanes ratio is obtained by dividing the weighted creep path by the head. The weighted creep path is the distance a particle of water travels along the boundnry with all horizontal surfaces one-third as effective as vertical and 45 surfuces. Thus, without cutoffs, weighted creep ratio for the modified section of Fig, 3,2 is Weighted creep path, 46/3 = 15 ft Effective head, H From these, the weighted creep ratio is w,/H = 15/51 = 0,3



For this example, assume the foundation material in Fig, 3,2 is coarse sand and gravel more than 100 ft deep. The abutment walls contain compressible earth loams and clay. At first glance, the designer maybe inclined to consider an earth dam with an expensive spillway system, However, a buttress dam or solid gravity dam can be constructed at the site, with particular emphasis in design and construction on the control of piping, Similar precautions are needed for earth dam design, Table 3,2 shows that a minimum allowable bearing value for gravel and sand is about 5 tons per square foot, or about 70 psi; the value for Lanes weighted creep ratio is 3,0, and Blighs coefficient is 9,0, These values are limits to be considered in tbe design of a concrete gravity or buttress dam, Table 3,1 gives the safe sliding value for concrete on coarse sand and gravel as 0,4, The stresses and weights computed for a gravity dam on rock foundation apply also to a gravity dam on pervious foundation, The modified gravity section shown in Fig, 3,2 22

51 ft

This value is much less than 3,0, The needed weighted path distance is found as
w, = 3,0

x 51 = 153ft both horizontal and WJ distance, assume 100 ft ending with a wall at the toe of the

This distance can be developed with vertical distances, To develop sufficient a concrete paved apron upstream for 20-ft cutoff wall and with a 20-ft cutoff dam section,


(b) Rg, 4.2. Approximate sketching. flow nete developed by rough trial

w, H Wg/H

=20+20 =40+33 =51ft

+l@3/3 +46/3+20+20 +15+40 =128ft

= 128/51 = 2.5

Increasing the upstream cutoff wall to 30 ft will raise the ratio to 2.92, which is considered acceptable. The reinforced concrete upstream apron, properly jointed to the dam, will increase the sliding resistance substantially because of the increased friction contact area. This design is illustrated in Fig. 4.2b. Tbe ratio of base flow length, b, to the cutoff

depth, d, should be greater than 1.0 before a weighted path distance is applied to the flow length. Deeper cutoff walls placed at the heel and toe of the dam but without the upstream apron, as illustrated in Fig. 4.2a, also could meet the creep ratio, The 40-ft heel wall and 30. ft toe wall together with the 46-ft dam base provide a creep ratio of 3.04, which is satisfactory. These two designs have been presented as meeting L~nes creep ratio of about 3,0, Before selecting either of them, the designer should check the critical exit gradient at the me, Probably the key to safe design on pervious foundations is the establishment of safe exit gradients for flow at the toe and abutments of the dam. Lanes c~ep ratio is an attempt to limit 23

Table 4.1. Approximate



of Permeability*

of ;Mm;fk 0,0000059 0,0000206

0,0000787 0.0001675

A check of this estimate is obtained equation at the upstream cutoft

Q = ~fl =

by applying Darcys

:%, mm 0,005 0.010 0.02


r%! cm per sec 0,030 0,105 0,40


;;*, 3.10 10,84

41,4 88,2

soil classification Coarse clay

Fine silt Coarse silt

(0.71/60) (50/85)60

= 0.42 cfs ~rfoot This shows veW good agreement with the seepage flow estimate. The selection of flow length, 1, for computing i was taken as the short path distance because of the short distance between the two cutoffs, The flow length of 85 ft, therefore, is the sum of the 40-ft upstream cutoff wall, the weighted c~ep path, 46/3, and the 30-ft downstream cutoff wall, Similarly, flow is computed for Fig, 4,2b from the flow net as Q = (n,71/60) (4/10)50 = 0.24 cfs per foot of crest Imgth

0,04 0,05 0.06 0,07 0,06

0,09 0,10
0.12 0,14 0.16 0,18 0.20 0,25 0.30 0,35 0.40 0,45 0.50 0.6 0.7 0.6 0,9 1,0 2.0

1.75 2,80 4.6 6.5

9.0 14.0 17.5
26,0 38.0 61,0 66.5 69,0 140.0 220 320 450 580 750 1,100 1,600 2,150 2,600 3,600 16,000

0.0002450 0,0005510 0.000906 0.001260

0,001775 0.002760 0,003450
0,00513 0.00750 0.01000 0.01350 0,01750 0.02760

181.5 2m,o 477 673

935 1,450 1,815
2,696 3,940 5,256 7,1W 9,203 14,500 15,760 33,150 46,600 60,000 77,600 113.500 166;2W 223,200 2S0,303 373,500 1.660.000

very me sand

Fine sand

00424 0.0630
0,0666 0.1142 0.1480 0,216 0.316 0,424 0,552 0.710 3.540


or Q = (0,71/60) (50/150)70 = 0,28 cfs pa foot by Darcys equation Again agreement is quite close, A visual inspection of the two flow nets of Fig, 4,2 indicates high flow concentrations at the base of each cutoff. Tbe upstreom flow is not too serious because particles are not likely to move dnwnst~am, But particles at the downstream cutoff can move up 6nd out of the foundation if their weight is exceeded by the pressure gradient, With water moving upward, the flow force (or gradient PRSSUE) combines with that of buoyancy to reduce the effective weight of the material, Flow force actually floats the material if the internal hydrostatic pressure becomes equal to, orgreater than, the load of superimposed material. This leads to the critical flotation condition: iC=(Sl)(lp) where S = specific gravity nfsoil matend
P =

Coarse sand

Fine aravel

~Thls table is mprodced {mm reference 2, It represents a very ,..Qh e,pproxi. matlon of average ccmdticms in tho fidd, A dffereme in desify, temperature, or PorosaY mw acCOU.t fOra wide Mer9.C9 in the Coelflcient of permoablllt y The 20% sizais that SIm where 20% of the sample Is Nnaller and 80% coar8er,

this critical design condition, Two additional methods can be used to determine stability from piping: flow nets and math. ematical computation of exit gradients, Fig. 4.2 shows flow nets roughly sketched for Lanes acceptable creep ratio designs. Seepage flow is determined from the flow net by a modification of the Darcy formula,
Q = k(n,/n*)h,


% = hydraulic gradient, k/1 where Q = flOWin cubic feet per second

k f =

For structures with a horizontal apron and a vertical cutoff, theexit gradient, Cc?, iscomputeda~@l Ge = H/(nd wherey/d = 1/2 + ~
k =b/d ~) = C(H/d)

pemne~bility in feet per second of flow channels i tbw et

= um~r

rq = number of equipetential drops

hd =

total head drop in feet, hcadwater elevation minus the tailwater elevation

The permeability coefficient is determined hy field and laboratory tests, An approximation of permeability may be made from Table 4,1; for this example a value of 0.71 ft per minute was assumed to fit the cumse sand-gravel condition, For Fig, 4.2a, the seepage is computed as Q = (0,71/60) (4/5)50 = 0.48 24
cfs pm foot of crest length

Fig. 4.3 illustrates the various dimensional terms, The curve expresses Ge in terms of the b/d ratio, The exit gradient times a safety factor must be less than the load of superimposed material, i.e., CC?(F) < (S - 1)(1 -P) The upstream cutoff wall has no significant effect on calculation of the exit gradient.

F m .% 0.2 ~

Exit gmdknt = C +

~ 0,1







17g. 4.3. Exit gradient coefficient baeed on methemeficel theory end model teets.

For the example, fore, (S -1)(1 -P)= gradient. Computing b =46 ft. For b/d=

assume S = 2.65 and P = 0.3. There1,65x 0.7= 1.15 as the critical flotation the exit gradient for Fig. 4.2a, d =30 ft, 1,5, read from Fig.4,3, C =0.265 .Then
= 0.265

G, =C(h/d)


= 0.44

The safety factor for this design is the ratio of the critical flotation gradient, 1,15, to the actual exit gradient, 0.44, or 1,15/0,44 = 2.61. Since for safet y @81 this ratio should be at least 5, the condition shown in Fig, 4.2a is unsafe. Further, the flow net indicates that about 10 ft of head must be dissipated in a length of 30 ft. This requires a high rate of energy loss, or fI/1 = 0.33. The designer must determine if thk condition can be made safe by using drains upstream from the toe cutoff or by increasing the superimposed load stabilizing the toe. In the second design condition, F1g 4.2b, the ratio is bld = 146/20 = 7.3, C = 0.16 and Ge = 0.16 (50/20) = 0.4. Again the exit gradient is too large, leaving a safety margin against flotation of only about 3. Tbe magnitude of the exit pressure also can beobserved by studying the flow net. This example shows that an upstream apron has less effect on the exit gradient than a change in toe cutoff wall depth. Consider Fig. 4,2a with b = d =46 ft, b/d = 1.0, and C = 0.285, Ge = 0.285(50/46) = 0.24. This maybe considered safe, since the safety factor is 1.15/O .24 = 4.79. In this design, an added advantage is obtained by increasing the slid~g resistance, The uolift messure. eauivotential head drop times the unit weight o} wa~er, is obtai~e~ from the flow ne~. In Ftg. 4.2b, the pressure on the center of the dam at point A is p = wh = 62,4 x 15 = 936 lb per square foot.tzl Similar treatment of other pressure drop lines defines the uplift pressure diagram. Particuku attention to uplift pressure under the stilling basin is necessary to prevent floating of the basin. Cutoff walls prevent seepage flow, reduce uplift, and con-

fine the material to permit nearly equal consolidation and uniform settlement of the dam. Joints within the dam must be flexible to alimw for some differential settlement. All joints must be watertight. Preventing flow around the ends of abutments is equally important. This is of major concern if an earth section ties into a central concrete section. Resistance to flow must be maintained in all cutoff wall construction. @l The design in Fig. 4.2b with the toe cutoff wall increased to 46-ft depth would be a solution for this site. Also, a concrete buttress section could replace the concrete gravity section. This example illustrates only the basic concepts for design of a dam on pervious foundation. The designer should study the references cited for a more complete understanding of the subject. There are many iOustrations in the literature of designs on soft foundations to assist in formulating a particular design.



Arch Dams
Ideally suited to narrow canyons in rock, the arch dam is a most economical and efficient structure to control the stream flow. The load-carrying capacity of an arch dam enables the designer to conserve material and still maintain an extremely safe structure. In arch dam design the objective is to transmit tbe hydrostatic waterload to the abutments bv arch action, The designer may use varinus shapes and forms to accomplish this objective, This has led to several classifications of arch dams. However, the one inherent characteristic of an arch dam is that the load is transmitted into the abutments. crown-cantilever analysis, and finally multiple cantilever analysis. In such analyses the horizontal waterload is divided between the arch rings and vertical cantilevers, so that the deflections of tbe arch ring and cantilever, wherever they intersect, are equal, Changing the shape and/or dimensions of the arch changes the distribution of the load, Modification of the shape is by trial, Consequently, the procedure has been called the trial-load method of analysis,( Stress determination is an involved process, The time required depends on the refinement desired, This, in turn, also depends on the accuracy of the estimates of elastic deflections of the concrete and rock, the size of the dam, and the desired degree of safet y, For high dams, economy and safet y dictate a complicated analysis involving multiple cantilevers to evaluate the probable stresses as accurately as possible, On the other hand, for low- to moderate-height dams, the determination of the stresses based on a load distribution given by a single-crown cantilever may be sufficient. Even for high dams, the single-crown cantilever can be used advantageously for preliminary investigations of site possibilities and economy.

THEORY The general theory of an arch dam is quite well understood and has been treated in a number of publications.{Z.lo.jG)The cylinder theory was first used for design and is still sometimes used for feasibility studies and for the design of very small dams, This theory assumes that all of the waterload is transmitted m the abutment by arch action, with the thickness of the arch at various depths given by 1 = rP/f



which r = arch thickness in feet r = radius of the arch in feet

P = f

waterload in pounds per square foot

concrete stress in

= allowable

pounds pa square foot

Dams have been successfully designed and constructed on the basis of this simple theory, Unfortunately, the loads and stresses resulting from this method are average unit stresses. In thick sections the maximum stress may be considerably higher. Also, in arch dams the ambient temperature variations can create stresses not considered in this theory, Historically, the method of analysis of arch dams de. veloped from the cylinder theory to independent arches, 26

Design loads on arch dams are essentially the same as for gravity dams. In addition, ambient temperature changes cause important deflections and stresses in curved dams that are not usually a factor in gravity dams. The weight of the concrete is the principal dead load, In thin arch dams, uplift pressures are usually neglected, When designing for uplift, use the same criteria suggested for gravity dams, page 11, Earthquake forces must be included as for gravity dams, Ice pressure results from thermal expansion of the ice and from wind drag on the surface of the ice. It loads the arch element at the elevation of the ice, This concentrated load usually is at or near the top of the dam, where the arch thickness is at a minimum, Expansion of the ice sheet usually is not a significant load factor when water is at the maximum

flood level, since the duration of such a water level usually is quite short, When basic data we not available for computing ice pressures, an acceptable estimate is 10,000 lb per Iineur foot of contact between the ice and the dam .(16) Seasonal temperature changes cause internal stresses in the arch. As the dam temperature increases, the dum becomes larger and is forced upstream by the abutment reactions. A decrease in concrete temperature contracts the dam, which then moves downstream by the amount of shortening of each arch ring. [n general, temperature increases produce tensile stresses on the extrados, compression at the intrados of the arch, while temperature drops have the opposite effects. The influence of temperature change may be small in flexible arches but is important in flat, thick arches. Further, temperature may vary throughout tbe thickness of the arch. Overturning and sliding are seldom factors in the design of arch dams. The designers principal interest is in shear, compressive, and tensile stresses. Detailed analyses and computer programs are available.{1167} The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and several consulting firms have such computer programs.



Previous design experiences with arch dams will assist the designer. In the preliminary selection of an arch dam, skill is needed to arrange the several structures and related facilities to gain economy and not jeopardize the basic safety of the dam. The arch dam is economical in most narrow canyons where the top chord length is about two to three times the height of the dam, but has competed economically and structurally with other types of dams for length-to-height ratios well above 5. Dams in wider valleys usually require increasing thicknesses of arches to maintain acceptable stresses. Generally, the base thickness of modern arch dams is from 0.1 to 0.3 times the height of the impounded water, depending on the radius of the arch. The top arch ring thickness usually depends cm durability, necessity for a roadway, or ice pressures. A general guide is that tbe arch thickness at tbe top should be about equal to or greater than 2% of the centerline radius of the arch at that elevation







[3) (E) (1) ,[0)


Fig. 5.1. Three-centered, thlckness arch dam.



most advantageous. Tbe angle at which the arch ring intersects the rock abutment ordinarily should be not less than 30, but somewhat lesser angles may be acceptable provided careful analyses are made of load transfer to the rock, with emphasis on shear stresses in the mck and at the interface,




Rg. 5,2. Arches and cantilever.

Hg, 5,3, Crown cantilever.

radio, ,Ood


fig. 5.4, Uniform radial load and triangular load.

For small dams it may be possible to develop a top arch thickness, bawd strictly on stress requirements, of less thm 2 ft. However, 3 to4 ft is recommended as a practical minimum to provide adequate durability and protection against abrasion, impact, and possible buckling. For lower arches, the thicknesses required by tbe stress analysis usually are adequate for durability and other requirements. Economy is gained by making the central angles as large as possible; theoretically, a central angle of at least 133 is 28

As mentioned, the trial-load method of analysis haslreen much used for calculating stresses in arch dams. The complicated and time-consuming processes involved have recently been replaced by computer programs having varying degrees nf accuracy, One such program is the PCA computer Analysis of Multi-Center Arch Dams program, Preliminary with Variable Thickness, (]71Thispmgmm, which was made available in 1971, replaced anearlier (no longer available) program prepared hy PCA in 1962 for the Bendix G-15 ;ornputer~ The current program, written in FORTRAN IV language for the IBM l130comuuter. . . movides a stress analvsis for input arch geometry for the following loading con~itinns: nonuniform hydrostatic load, temperature drop, and earth. quake load. It also calculates the approximate quantity of concrete in the dam, The method of analysis used in this program is commonly referred toasthe ``single-crown cantilever analysis,'' Since the results obtained by such an analysis are not as rigorously correct as those involving more than one vertical cantilever, this program is primarily recommended for preliminary analysis and feasibility studies, However, numemus investi. gationst) have disclosed that an analysis such as this, based on a single central cantilever, gives results within a few percent of those obtained with a basis of more than one cantilever. More important, this single-crewn cantilever analysis almost always is conservative, as compared with results from multicantilever analyses, That is, a multicantileve: analysis almost always will produce a slightly thinner, lower-cost arch dam than will the single-crown cantilever analysis. Therefore, the single-crown cantilever analysis may safely be used for final design, if the damsite is reasonably symmetrical. However, if the dam is quite large, requiring in excess of 100,@30cu yd of concrete, it will be worthwhile to useamore rigorous muhicantilever analysis simply to save concrete. The type of dam for which the PCA program was prepared is illustrated in Fig, 5.1. An overall flow diagram for the program is shown in Fig, 5,2, The two basic systems in the analysis procedure used intheprogram arethe10 arch rings and the single-crnwn cantilever shown in Fig, 5.3, Tbe arch analysis procedure used by this program takes advantage of the symmetry of the arches, In such a fixed symmetrical arch subject to a symmetrical load, the shear force, horizontal displacement, andangular rotation at the crown are zero. Hence, the free body comprising half of the arch is statically determinate, with redundants HC andkf, at thecrown and fixityat theabutment, asshownin Fig, 5,4. Tbe PCA program considers tbe effects of foundation yielding, which decreases the arch stresses at the abutments and leads to a thinner arch dam, It solves for HC, MC, the radial deflection at the crown, and M~ and W, tbe moment

Table 5,1, Dam with Uncrackad Base


output page number 3

Loading condtions Hydrostatic load Hydrostatic load temperature drop Hvdrostatlc load

Deflection atcrown


stresses at crown and abutment

Arch stresses at crown and abutment

5 earthqu~ke load

andshear atthe abutment. Aflthese values are calculated for hydrostatic load of water on the dam, for earthquake load, and for temperature drop. These values are then applied to the compatibility conditions for the arch and cantilever elements to determine the distribution of the loads between the arch rings and the crown cantilever. Tbe program calculates vertical stresses in the cantilever at each arch elevation and at the base. Stresses at the base are difficult to determine precisely by analysis. The program makes reasonable assumptions regarding horizontal cracking from the extrados (upstream face) whenever excessive vertical tensile stresses occur. Refer to the Users Manualc{7> for more detail on the operations carried out by the prngram. The output from the computer is as follows: Pagel: userstitle pageand variable information, if any Page2: echoprint ofinput dataand concrete yardage. For a dam with an untracked base, that is, vertical tensile stresses not exceeding the allowable, pages3, 4, and 5 are the analysis results for the three loading conditions shown in Table 5,1. If the vertical stress at the extradns of the cantilever base exceeds the allowable tensile stress, three more pagesuf analysis results for tbe cracked cantilever base follow, identified by appropriate headings. The program execution time is 5.5 minutes for the three loading cases described, More detailed descriptions of the input, program operation, and output will be found in the Users Manual. (17)

thickness are more often used, as in the PCA computer program described earlier.() This has the advantage of being easily computable, both for stress analysis and for construction. Abrupt widening of tbe valley nefnthe top of the dam may require thrust blncks to transfer arch thrust to the foundation. Thrust blocks may bridge the space between the termination of thearcb andthefoundation mckatthe same elevation, As such, they constitute acontinuation oftbewater barrier and usually are designed as gravity walls. They also may be designed as buttresses totransfer thearchthmst to sound rock at a lower elevation. Tbe stress criteria for concrete in the design of an arch dam result in low foundation stresses. Most rock is capable nf withstanding stresses much greater than the 1,000 psi limit usually allowed in the alum. The foundation rock of most dams is grouted to consolidate the rock and prevent leakage. Grouting substantially improves the bearing qualities of rock and increases the safety of the structure. Elastic properties of the foundation rock will cause some yielding, wbichredistributes stresses in the structure. The elastic properties of rock are considered in tbe crowncantilever analysis method described earlier. The foundation stress for an arch dam can be kept low, The designer can control foundation stresses to such an extent that any rock foundation that can be made watertight will satisfactorily suppnrt an arch dam, In fact, several arch dams bridge soft foundation conditions satisfactorily.

FOUNDATION PROBLEMS AND TREATMENT The abutment is the foundation of an arch dam and must carry the loads delivered by the arches-the shear, thrust, and bnding moments. Shear is seldom excessive. Thrust varies with elevatinn and is usually maximum at midheight. Bending moments at the abutments may result in uneven stress distribution that may produce localized stresses inexcessofthe allowable stress. Allowable stresses at the abutment are tbe maximum permissible stresses for either the mckor the concrete, whichever is less. Excessive stresses at the abutment maybe reduced byreshapingtbe archat the elevation where the excess occurs or by thickening the arch at the abutment. Reshaping ispreferred where possible, since this has least effect on concrete quantities. To reduce stress intensities, the bearing area may be enlarged byadding fillets attheintrados. Arches of variable



Structural model tests provide a realistic design approach for arch dams. Properly conducted, model studies can predict the stresses in the dam as confirmed by stress measurements in tbe prototype after constructing. Important studies of whole curved-plate dam continuities provide detailed knowledge of the form, shape, and joint arrangements to control stresses. Models are useful in analyzing asymmetrical arch dams, in considering the use of free or perimetrical joints, and in the case of irregular foundation and abutment surfaces. Results of structural-model studies have been used m make refinements in mathematical analyses. Such tests are seldom necessary for small arch dams because the mathematical theories applied through computers are sufficiently accurate topredicttheoperation ofthedam. 29

Frequently the spillway can be designed to operate over the crest nf the dam, near tbe center of the arch. Obvinusly, the horizontal wch stresses must be computed in tbe area around the gap cut out of the crest to accommodate tbe spillway flow, but this usually is not a serinus problem, since arch stresses near the crest usually are considerably lower than allowable,




Prestressing has been used tn overcome excessively high tensile stresses in the arches. Anotable example is Nambe Falls Dam, near Santa Fe, NM., which was completed in 1976 by the U, S, Bureau of Reclamation, This is basically an earthfill dam with a137-ft-high concrete arch providing an uncontrolled free-fall spillway, The arch was prestressed by 12 flat jacks in the central vertical jnint separating tbe two segments nf the dam, The prestressing introduced a compressive stress nf 400 psi in the arch, This stress is sufficient so that under hydrostatic load of the full reservoir the excessive tensile stresses, wbichcould have been ashighas 168 psi, are reduced to a maximum of 124 psi, While this type of prestressing is not low-cost, in the case of Nambe FaHs Damitwas a good investment, saving much more incomparisar with otber, more expensive solutions to this problem,



Buttress Dams
Buttress dams are similar in many reapcct> to concrete gravity dams. Each buttress element acts as a gravity-type cantilever supporting the waterload with various face shapes. The shape of face generally classifies the type of dam. These are multiple-arch, flat-slab, multiple-dome, and massivehead buttress dams (including round and diamond heads). Buttress dams usually require from 30% to 40% less concrete than a comparable concrete gravity dam. However, the cost reduction is in part offset by increased formwork and, in some designs, the need for reinforcement. The flat slabs, thin arches, and domes may require steel reinforcement. Mawve roundhead or diamondhead buttress dama eliminate the need for steel by carrying the waterload in direct compression of all members to the foundation. As has been stated, buttress dams require more formwork than conventional concrete gravity dams. However, the massive-head buttress dam has some attractive features for certain locations. Shortages of good earth or rockfill material, site remoteness, need for concrete spillways, low labor costs, repetitive use of forms, and fewer problems with concrete temperature control are factors in favor of a buttress dam.


The Pueblo Dam built on the Arkansas Cola., is Americas first massive-head

River, near Pueblo, buttress dam. The

cost saving by utilizing the buttress gravity design was 51.6 million.

design over the solid

Pueblo Dam, a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation project on the Arkansas River just west of Pueblo, Colo., is basically a 1,9-mile-long earthfill dam with a maximum height of 180 ft above the lowest foundation excavation exclusive of the concrete plug. Tbe 550-ft-long, 100-ft.high uncontrolled concrete spillway near the midpoint of the dam is a massivebead buttress section having seven 78,5 -ft-wide overflow buttresses and sixteen 75-ft-wide nonoverflow buttresses, (See Fig. 6,1,) Based on alternative designs and estimates, this buttress structure saved 285,100 cu yd of concrete (35%) and approximately $1.6 million. In Quebec, Canada, the 703-ft-high, 4,310 -ft-long Daniel Johnson Dam (originally known as Manicouagan 5 Dam) was completed in 1968 as a roundhead buttress dam R required 2,950,000 cu yd of concrete and was completed in 6 years. In that very unfavomble climate for earthwork, construction of this dam as an earthf ill structure would have required much more time and might have been impossible, and the cost would have been considerably greater. Rock foundation material is preferred, as it is for any dam, but nearly any site is suitable for buttress dams. Soft foundations can be used for low buttress dams provided particular attention is given to seepage flows. Buttress dams can be built more easily at sites with gradually sloping abutments than at sites with steep canyon walls. The flexibility of the buttress permits straight, curved, or intersecting alignments to take advantage of the best foundation conditions. As noted above, seepage must be considered if buttress dams ure built on soft or pervious foundations, A thick bearing slab may be cast on the soft foundation material to support tbe buttresses. Such spread supports reduce the load intensity and can prevent uneven settlement. Unless tbe foundation is particularly unfavorable, the slab support should not be continuous, as as this increases the total uplift force,

Fig. 6.1 Principal tress dem.

forces acting

on a messive-heed




A buttress dnm uses the water pressure against its face as a stabilizing force, The inclination of the upstream face is controlled by the relationships between the requirements of stability and the intensities of foundation pressures. A slope of 45 bas great stability and a low sliding factor, The principal forces are illustrated in Fig. 6,1, The resultant water load, R., acting normal to the deck, is resolved into vertical and horizontal components, Tbe horizontal water component, H., exerts an overturning moment about the downstream toe of the dam, The weight of the concrete provides a stabilizing moment resisting overturning, In addition, the vertical water component, V,,, exerts a stabilizing moment. The summation of mnments (including ice, silt, tailwater, and seismic forces) determines the dams stability against overturning. Fnr other than slab foundations, uplift forces are usually ignored, since these forces are harmlessly relieved by unsealed zones between the buttress bases. Even with slab foundations or massive spread footings, proper drain outlets reduce uplift pressure. Stability against overturning, overstressing, and sliding is determined in the conventional manner. Stibllity against 32

overturning is seldom the governing factor in design, since the resultant of all forces usually passes through the approximatecenter of gravit y of the base of the section. Frequend y this is upstream of the axis of the dam. For massive-head and multiple-nrch structures, stresses are maintained withh the maximum allowable, usually 1,000 psi compression and 150 psi tension. Steel reinforcement is required in flat-slab facings. Flattening the upstream slope of the dam increases VWand the sliding resistance of the buttress section. Sliding factors of 0,3 to 0.5 are considered adequate for buttresses on soft foundations, On the other hand, a thoroughly keyed design on good rock is safe, with a sliding factor as high as 0,9, Buttress spacing, type of face, upstream and downstream slopes, thickness of buttress, thickness of face, type of joints, foundations, and temperature control of setting concrete must all be considered in design. Many of these elements affect economy. The thickness, 7, of massive-head buttresses depends mainly on two elements buttress spacing, .S, and buttress height, H, A ratio of H/T not in excess of 12 is tbe accepted criterion for unsupported single-wall buttresses. Greater ratios have been used with lateral bracing provisions. A great many massive-head buttress dams have been built with the ratio of S/T between 2 and 3, The slopes of upstream and downstream faces are such that stability is maintained at all elevations and stresses are witbin the allowable limits, 1,000 psi compression and 150 psi tension, Base Iengtbs usually me from 1,0 to 1.5 times tbe water depth. The joints between two massive-head buttresses are equivalent to contraction joints of solid gravity dam blocks. The joints should be watertight but permit independent action of the adjoining buttresses. Details of joint design are more complex for arch and flat-slab faces, since local concentration of stresses is to be avoided as much as possible. Temperature control during construction is seldom a problem in small buttress dams, Tbe relatively thin sections permit the heat of hydration to dissipate rapidly, W ith controlled


A -A

Fig, 6.2. Buttrees

dam deeign example dimension.

pace and sequence of construction, excess heat disperses without the special previsions required in concrete gravity dams. Lift heights in the slabs and buttress stems can be greater while maintaining adequate temperature control. Load and stress calculations have been worked out for the various buttress types, A tentative design layout is made using tbe basic design limits suggested above, Subsequent computations determine structural stability against cwerturning and sliding, foundation pressures, and internal stresses, Computer programs assist in these mathematical calculations. The design example that follows illustrates the principles of layout and analysis of a concrete buttress dam. Fig, 6.3. Earthquake period, t,. DESIGN EXAMPLE: BUTTRESS DAM


of c.

fector, c,, fOr values of earthquake

The basic geometry of the buttress section selected for design is illustrated in Fig, 6.2. Since this is, in effect, a gravity dam, many of the design analysis procedures are quite simiInrto those described in Chapters3 and4, the major differences concerning the dimensions of the head and stem sections. Earthquake factors for design are selected from Fig. 6.3, which was adapted from .Engineeringfor Darns, @J Table 6,1 presents design data for the buttress detailed in Fig. 6.2, for three upstream face slopes vertical, 10 and 20 from the vertical. The dimensions and stresses were calculated by means of an old PCA computer program for the design of concrete gravity dams, which is no longer available. For each design the calculations were made at four different elevations12.5, 25, 37.5, and 50 ft from the assumed water surface elevation. The resulting four stem lengths, for zem stress at the heel for loading condition 2, indicate that the most economical design is with a curve rather than the usually assumed straight line forming tbe downstream edge of tbe buttress stem. Note that increasing the face slope vertically from 10 to 20 increases the volume of concrete required for the buttress section. Butalso note that tbevolume increase isslightcom-

pared with the substantial increase in safety against sliding, indicated by theff/V figures. Referring to Table 3.1, note that the allowable sliding factor, H/V, is never more than 0,8, and foramck foundation with some laminations it should not exceed 0.7. Fmm that latter figure, it is apparent that only the buttress with a 20 face slope is safe against sliding, considering loading case 2, the usual condition considered for stability and conformance with stress criteria. Also note that this section is safe for all internal stresses for all three loading conditions, The dimensions of the buttresses considered provide what is commonly called a slender buttress if/T of the stem = 50/4= 12.5. Toprovide greater safety against sliding for loading case 3, which includes earthquake, it may be desirable to provide a somewhat thicker stem or a still flatter upstream face slope, Tbe concrete volume for a single 20-ft-wide, 50-ft-high, 20 buttress, as described, is 462 cu yd. In comparison, the gravity dam section 20 ft wide required 850 cu yd; the buttress design saves atmut45%of tbe concrete volume. The value of this saving in material is partially offset by the 33

Table 6,1, Computed

Loating cases


Vertical upstream 4,0 n 50.0 n 31,2ft

Dsm ExsmDle
face 10 face slope 4,0 n 50,0 n 31,1 n 43.7 psi 24.6 psi 0.0 psi 120.4 psi 20- face slope 4.oft 50.oft 32,3 ft 31,9 psi 49.8 psi 0.0 139.0 psi


Stem thickness
Distant.a from wat8r leveI Stem length 1. euttress only Heel stress Toe stress Heel stress Toe~tre~~

55.4 psi -1.01 0.0 101.0 psi

2. EWtress,
hydrostatic, and uplft

Shear stress

0.99 32,6 psi

-13.0 psi

32.5 psi -13.1 t47,5 psi psi

31,5 psi -12.5 psi

3. Emttress,, hY!rostatfc, uplift, and

Heel stress Toestress

127,8 psi

164,9 psi



39.6 psi 445.4 cuyd

38.7 psi 462,0 cuyd


Shear stress
Volume of concrete 1 buttress


psi W yd

increased cost of construction that results from the ktrger amount ofconcrete formwork required for the buttress sections, The cost increase for formwork depends on many factors, including availability and cost of labor, and availability y and reuse of the forms, A 25qo cost increase in the concrete to cover the higher cost of forming results in the following cost comparisons for a 20-ft-wide block of a.dam: Concrete gravity dam, 850 cu yd at $30 per cubic yard =$25,500 20 buttress dam, 462 cu yd at $37.50 per cubic yard =$17,325 saving =$ 8,175

Concrete gravity dam, 850 cu yd at $40 per cubic yard =$34,000 20 buttress dam, 462 cu yd at $50 per cubic yard =$23,100 saving =$10,900 Since concrete gravity dams are frequently cost competitive with earth and rockfill dams, a buttress dam very often would be lower in cost than a fill dam.



A spillway is the safety valve for a dam. It releases excess water that cannot be retained in the storage space of the reservoir. For safety of the dam, it must be designed to discharge the maximum flood flow while maintaining the reservoir water surface below a predetermined maximum elevation. A safe spillway is extremely important. Many failures of dams have resulted from spillways of inadequate capacity or otherwise improper design. Spillway size and frequency of use depend on the runoffcharacteristics of the drainage basin and the nature of the project. The determination and selection of the reservoir design flood must be based on an adequate study of the hydrological characteristics of the basin. The routing of the flow past the dam requires a reasonably conservative design to avoid loss of life and property damage. Establishing the design flow that a spillway must carry without endangering the dam is very important. Space limitations do not permit an adequate hydrological treatment of flood flow determination for a reservoir. However, data are supplied for estimates of maximum flows for the initial project studies. A more detailed hydrological analysis is necessary for adequate designing of the spillway.


The study of stream tlowa involves (I) determinatwn of the amount of water available throughout a period of years; and (2) determination of the maximum .volumes &$,Eater that must be handled for spillway design and dam safety. In the first aspect, the flow is studied for periods of necessary hydrological information. The engineer may dedrought and periods of excess water in relation to use in the velop synthetic flow curves from neighboring stream data project development. Prior water rights must be invesiigated and programmed into this study. A mass curve of the stream. and rainfall information. Also, methods ofestimating stream runoff over a period of years is developed to determine the flow are available in various texts, journals, and reports. The second aspect involves estimating maximum flood available water. The mass curve is the accumulative total of the volume of flow past a given point on the stream over a flow to determine spillway requirements for safety of the period of time. Unfortunately, most small streams do not dam. Studies show that the magnitudes of the flood flows are related to the frequency with which the event occurs within have sufficient records for adequate development of the

Spillways are among the most important features of dams. Proper flow conditions in the spillway structure and energy dissipation are essential to safe operations. Easton Diversion Dam, Yakima Project, Wash., which is 43 fl high and 248 ft long, shows flow on a gated spillway.

10,000 ,

9 $ :


~ <q

Creogerk Equation I q ,46 CAt0.89+A-004a1-!

= 10,OOOA-Os(modi fied Meye,mnx. 100%)

; ; : a & $ . .~
. ~ g % 6


~, Crmgors

Equation C=lOO

I 00

o c

10 10 I 00 I ,000 I 0,000

I 00 300

Droinqe ore.

A in square miles

7.1. Curves developed

from floods of unusual occurrence.

different time periods. This permits the engineer to make a realistic estimate of the risk of floods caosing damage by exceeding the estimated design flow. If failure of the dam would result in loss of life, the spillway must have sufficient capacity to prevent failure when the maximum probable flood is routed through the reservoir. This is particuhmly important for rock and earthfill du.nrs that may be overtopped during a flood. Concrete dnrns can generally withstand overtopping without failure if they are designed to generally accepted safety factors. The caac of dam failure that does not endanger life maybe justified if the organization involved fully realizes the risks and ensuing damages, This situation may exist on low, small reacrvoir-type dams. A quick estimate of maximum probable flow can be obtained from Fig. 7.1. Discharge determined from tbeac curves should hc modified by application of hydrological data pertinent to the area. The curves are baaed on records of unusual flood discharges for unregulated streams. Creager and others(z) give the equation for the envelope curve in general form as
Q =

conservative estimate of flood potential for initial design of the spillway, An advanced pfocedure to estimate the maximum flood is to transpose storms producing great floods in the region over the drainage basin, The resulting flood is analyzed to determine the peak flow and the flow hydrography. The hydrography is tbe relationship of discharge and time for flood-producing characteristics. A similar approach results from studying the maximum probable precipitation when combined with other flood-contributing characteristics of the basin (including melting snow) to produce the flood hydrography. Flood potentials that ure Icss than maximum maybe used for structures where loss of human life is not involved. fn minor structures with insignificant storage, where it is permissible to anticipate failure within the useful life of the project, a 50- or 100-year-frequency flood may be used for the inflow design flood.

SPILLWAY 46 CA (0,894A
46 CA
K994A - 0.48)



- 048)


which Q = estimated maximum flood peak, cfs

q =

corresponding flood expressed in cfs per squure mile of drainage area drainage basin area in square miles

C = coefficient depending on characteristics of drainage arwa The engineer should not accept the flood penk established from these experience curves without first bringing the data up to date to show all recent flood events pertinent to the urea of study. The coefficient of C = 100 generally provides a 36

Site conditions greatly influence the location, type, and components of tbe spillway. The type of dam construction is also influenced by the type of spillway and spillway requirements. There are six general categories of spillways: (1) overflow, (2) trough or chute, (3) side channel, (4) shaft or glory hole, and (5) siphon, All of thcae may be and frequently are gated. The designer may use one or a combination of t ypes tn fulfill the project needs, Snmc designs will use one type of spillway for normal operation and for flood penka up to a 50- or 100-y earfrcquency storm. Arr emergency spillway provides additional safety if greater flows occur than were covered by the design assumptions. Such situations could result from floods above a certain Ievcl, malfunctioning spillway gates, or enforced shutdown of outlet works. The emergency spillway




C for 40 wide K
3.6 ~ . 3.6

36 high fainter gates, 9 thick piers, rounded nose, al I go te8 open. /



~ H

0.6 / 0,6 2

r! Y

g 8



0.4 / . . o 3,0 *. 3,2 3.4

Op en cm St

-B 3,00 Lo 20 3,0







: ~1.o 6 g . 0.9

0,6 m o






R.tio of head cmcrest +. design


LEGEND . we, o.emge test points He/H . Fort Gibson ~ Fort Rondoll 1 Harlan County + Pine Flat . Wolf Creek I Dole Hollow 1 HelH <0.4 >0.3

fig. 7.3. Spillway crest discha~e coefficient for low ogee crests.


type,, size, and location of the dam influence the spillway Iocataxr and arrangement. The final plan is governed by overall economy.

Fig. 7.2. Spillway crest dischsfgs coefficient.




The discharge capacity of the spillway control section is determined by the appropriate weir or orifice formula. The uncontrolled crest spillway discharge is given by prevents overtopping the main portion of the dam and is particularly needed for earth and rock embankments. The overflow spillway is well suited to concrete dams. It is commonly used where dams have sufficient crest length for tbe desired discharge capacity and where the foundation material is solid or can be protected against scouring. Some dams use a free overflow or nonsupported type; others incorporate a chute or trough to carry the flow to the downstream channel. Chute spillways are often used for earth dams or where there are voor downstream foundation materials. Side channels and shaft spillways are readily adapted to narrow canyons where space is limited. Limitations on crest length or maintenance of a constant headwater level fit the flow characteristics of a siphon spillway. Gated spillways are used when it is necessarv to control the amount of storage behind the dam. The spillway may be part of the dam or a separate structure. Its function must be integrated with that of the dam. The
Q = CLH312

in which Q C

= total discharge river spillway, cfs = coefficient of discharge

= net =

length of crest, feet

design head on spillway crest, feet

This equation is modified for piers placed on the crest and for approach ffows that retain a considerable velocity comPnnent to
Q = C(L KNH) (H + H,)3f2

where K = pier contraction coefficient N = number of pier contractions (2 per pier)

H. =

velocity head of approach flow in feet 37

Special blocks are often used to ensure control of flowing water. On the Wallace Lake Reservoir Dam near Shreveport, La., the 640~ft-long ogee spillway dumps the

flow into blocks that control the length and position ofthe hydraulic jump. The dam height is 46 ft. It was built in 1946 for flood control by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In both equationa the coefficient, C, varies with the configuration of the weir crest and the energy head, He, on the crest. For an ogee spillway, C varies with head, approaching 4.0 as the design head, H, is approached. The spillway ratmgcurvecan be computed from thedatain Fig. 1.2, which is reproduced from Hydraulic Design Chart III-3 of the Waterways Experiment Station, U.S. Army . Cortx of Engineers. The depth of approach flow affects the discharge coefticient. Shallow aooroach deoths. Ha. reduce the discharge coefficient from the design coefficient of 4.0 to the low & coefficient of 3.0, as shown in Fig. 7.3. In general, the depth to the weir crest should be equal to or greater than the head acting on the weir. When the approach channel depth is less than the head, boundary conditions affect the flow pattern. In turn, the discharge coefficient approaches the low weir discharge coefficient. Designs where this is important include low diversion dams for water supply or irrigation head works. The velocity is more significant when the approach depth is shallow. Gated spillway capacities are determined by using the orifice equation Q = CAV&%
where C = coctt~~cnt of discharge

or for partial gate openinga

Q = 2/3 fig CL (H,/> - Hz9

where H, = total head in feet on top edgeof opening

Hz = total head in L

feet on bottom edgeof openmp

= net length of opening in feet

The coefficient, C. differs with different gate and crest arrangements. It will be influenced by the approach and downstream flow conditions as they affect the contraction of the flow through the opening. Fig. 7.4 shows coefficients representing averages determined for various approach and downstream conditions for orifice flows at various gate openings to the total head.< Coefficients from these figures are sufficiently reliable to determine discharge capacity of spillway ~tmctures on small dams.

Properly designed energy dissipators are esaennal to dam safety. The flood flows passing the spillway gain kinetic energy that must be properly handled, or severe scour can endanger the structure. The hydraulic jump is used as an effective means ot energy dissipation. Other dissipators include plunge pools, ski jumps, and frictional resistance on erosion-resistant bed

A = area I squarefeet H = headin feet producmgthe dlxhqe, 8 = accelerationof gravity, 32.2 ft2 per second


of $

Rg. open










used with

[n designs utilizing conduits,

outlet control gates and valves.

diffusers have


All types of stilling basin designs use the principle of the hydraulic jump, which is the conversion of high-velocity flow to velocities that cannot cause damage to the stream channel. Tbe hydraulic jump theory, based on pressure momentum, gives

should be about two-thirds m deep as the stone diameter indicated in Section 1I, but not Icss thdn 2 ft. Design and construction information on mil-cemrmt for such an application will be found in references 19, 20, and 21.


preceding hydraulic

General guides for design can be obtained from the

information with considerable accuracy. However,

in which D2 =
D, Vi

flow depth dowmtrcam

of the jump,


= flow depth =

upstream of the jump, fed

velocity in the flow upstream of the jump, feet per second

model tests should be made on important, unusual spillways and energy dissipation devices. Model studies can provide design information and operational characteristics not easily visualized from mathematical calculations,

= acceler~tion of gravity, 32.2 ft per second

The relationship of depths is often written in terms of the Froude number


F, %= D,

= m,


1/2 + ~1/4 + 2F:.

This equation shows that the ratio of depths is a function of the Froude number. The svability of the jump is greatly influenced by the Froude number. A design summaryc181of stilling basin characteristics is provided in Figs. 7,5,7.6, and 7.7. Section I I of Fig. 7,7 includes a chart of stone size and weight in relation to velocity. This ensures that proper riprap sizes arc selected to prevent scour at basin outlets, These large stones should be placed on a gravel protective bed to p!event piping Of the finer ~d matcri~ll thrOugh the riprap. As an alternative to stone riprap, which is not always economically available in the required sizes and quality, a pavement of compacted soil-cement would be satisfactory protection for such basin outlets. The soil-cement should cover the same area as would be protected by the stone and 39

fig. 7.5. Summary of stilling basin chsrscteristice, ssctions 1 through 3. Figs. 7.5 through 7.8 are reproduced from Peterka.llsl


.Iump 0. %t fk.a. with . . chu?e baffle Diem m eo~ sill In bmn,Usuolly Mums, not .

SECTION 3 sHORT S71LLING SASINS FOR CANAL STRUCTURES, SMALL OUTLET W~KS AND SMALL SPILLWAYS [BASIN m) J.m!J cmdbasin 10WM mdwoe .ba.t 33 PWCWII with chule blffik$ and den!.a!ed end sill. FC8. on Mgh ,, low ..01 sIPM?,s, ,1,. f,, Fraud, numbers above 4,5, JmP md bad. leqfh md,ed about 60 L.affb, Percenl with chum bbcks,
m sold end sill, For *, m small SPl[l.oys, outlet work,, ,mdl ,,,01 ,+,,,+.,,, wh,m V, do,, not exceed m-m feel P,, mmod mm+ fraud, numb.. (s ob,w 4.5

P.. cIco1 basin bemuse .1 excessive length, Elmmls .md Chwncterl%tics.f jumps f.? mmP18te rwge of Frwde ,nbem is dete? minti f. aid designers i. mledinq m..e Practical basins 11,!! I, rv, v, .md VI





h,.., h,.o.,o,: .P!i,..y...r... ... ... . ,,. . . .,., , + . . . . . . ------------Sb]e Ns --------

: : * , .-




S,=O ,50,7*..

W, +,..i,$-: :0:







: ~ j

m.;, Jim o



+!:__ d
d %,, . , .
6.!. !,!. ,.,,, !,!0

K <:

~. .

,.%3:, dim.

o . m:, .;,,.





Lm , ~, .


:!4,, R


,. : %
# 4


,,0:0, I&m





,,0%, .}.,,,




fL4@++>-:,.. ..... ,FF,,T,VE

,, ,.,.

.~r$ ,:, ,.,:,. ,...:,.

&-.. -.-. -.. AL. ., -- . .. ...-.






Fig, 7,6. Summary of stilling basin characteristics, sections 4 through 6. (Supplemented information on Stilling Besln VI is avsilable from the Office of the Aaeistsnt

Commieeioner, Burssu of Reclsmatlon, of the Interior, Denver, Colo.)

U.S. Dspsrtment




Fcr .,. .Clh junm .f Fr@de nmbw z., +0 4,5 which W.lly 0,.. 0. Om.1 ,t?ctuces and diversim darns, This basin md.ces ec,ss~w .00s created hlperfecl jumps. May .1s. u%, olt,m.ate d,,~n md,m !vove suppmwars shown below, or,n v 1 !mPm+ +yP, bmm Far ,,,. ,, 7!0. v,1oc,I,E, 1,s, than ,Ofmt P,, 8m.nd md Fmdenmb,r, ot exceeding 9 N. to!lwater ,quired En,rgy 10,, q?eater than n cmrmmble jmv, OC



L . . . . . . . . ..L. .: . . . . . . . . .

slope 2:


mz 0
. .... ...
PI . .









i(w) ,,


*W , : % ,.)
./,(., .,.)

, .

,.), ,,0, ,.,,,,,,, ,,,, ,,..,,!, .,.,... .%





Y +.

o ,


1 .-.



Ij . ..Gote

,Imctu,e (CASE D)

,-, ,

o,,, fat,. ,.,,,,.,,.,, r, .,,,,.,,, ,0, ,,, P,,,,, m., ,.,,orm.c.

!s ,,. o ,e,m,

I ,$
,,.., .,.8,,




:-~~-$,g~<<..-r t .. . ,.,. ... . ~~~



w!dth of the m!, the d.,th . low .+.?(9 the ,., ., ,s ,,, ,,..,. rod ., ,,, ,,0. .... me V*,.<,,, . ,,. !,..!9 flow.





, :

a % -..,





,.0.,, .,.,,.





Fig, tiona


Summary 8.






7 and


Th), ,+811,9 b.,,, ,b, uf 50.,. shorter ttm, o cmvemml bmn, IS wsed t. diss, pote hydml<c ee,qy ,t the d.w),t,e, m e~.f , outlet work, ,0. tm ,,,., +,,, T. red.,, m$t ondww wee, the St!llhng basin ;S ,,,11 Castrt ted w,th, n ,, ,dj, cent t. timwerh. use structure,


,, . ,PIIIWOY,, dears> chvle, et,, where ,?,,1 finI, ot wtmerqed, V, md F, hove ol, frets Dot. may 01s0 be used tO de$!q o ,Oltd - tyw roller bucket,





















., 0




.0 .,,













.,. *


fig. 7.8. Summary of stilling basin characteristics, sections 9 through 11.












.,$.,,6, AND





OF W,OT = ,





,,, ,,.,,
+,.,, .,

+ro, n,ng WOII,


should bofflf

be three D8W$





EXCERPTS FROM ON SUBSURFACE GEOLOGICAL REPORT INVESTIGATIONS The bedrock in the area strikes North, 65 to 75 East, and dips4 to9 Northwest. Considerable fracturing, particularly in the more competent beds, was observed, as well as small faults and pinchouts, Tbe fracturing has caused appreciable weathering, Underlying thedluvium andtalusis apartially to completely weathered shale, The completely weathered shale appears as alternating thin to very thin layers of plastic clay and soft shale, A medium-to-hard, thin-bedded shale is below the weathered shale, Only slight weathering nccurs in the medium-to-bard shale and usually appears as rusty stains along fracture planes, The rock is sound and may be scratched but not penetrated by a knife blade,


of Exampla

Site (ace Fig. 1.1)

The original surface of the area was a slightly sloping plateau. Subsequently, the plateau was completely dissected by streams to scha extent that Iittleof the original plain remained, The surface of the old plain corresponded roughly tothetops of the present hills, Because ofthisdeep stream erosion, the present surface generally consists of sharply cut V-shaped valleys separated by ridges with steep slopes, The progressive downward stream erosion has been occasionally interrupted by depositional stages resulting in tbe partial fiOing of the valleys, The existing alluvium is the result of one or more of these depositional stages, Thetestf?orings indicate thatthestreamcut deepestneartbecenter ofthevalley,

The damsite is a V-shaped valley whose floor is covered with alluvium, Side slopes are covered with talus except for a 20-ft-high vertical outcrop of sandstone at the north abutment. The alluvium consists mostly of sandstone gravel, cobbles, and boulders, with relatively small amounts of finer material, The boulders are up to 4 ft in diameter, The talus consists ofa clayey, sikytosandy matrix containing numerouslarge sandstone blocks having sharp, angulm corners, The bedrock formation is the Norton formation of the Pennsylvanian Age, Tbe Norton consists mostly of gray shale and sandstone, with afewconglomeratic beds andoc. casional coal seams. All the rocks are highly fossiliferous and usually carbmmceous to varying degrees, A coal seam was encountered in the north abutment. This seam is approximately% ftthick. Ithasbeen removed byerosion from the valley but occurs above the south abutment on the south side of the valley, The seam is presently being mined in this area, with the entry located some 100 to 200 ft west and about 20 to 30ftabovethepi-nposed topofthedam, 44

Borings were located along the axis of the proposed dam. The borings indicate that alluvium covering the valley floor varies in thickness, Weathered shale underlies the alluvium and talus, Below the weathered shale is a medium-to-hard shale, capable of supporting the propnsed load, This medium-to-hard shale lies from 17 to 30 ft below the present ground surface, The unconfined compressive strength of tbe shale below the sound rock line is estimated to be between 3,500 and 5 ,OtXlpsi, The estimated static modulus of elastic ity is about 2,3 X 106 psi, Thew values agress rather closely with a aPPrOximatiOn derived from the pulse velocity measurements taken inthe shale, Several uncon fined compression tests should lx made to confirm the estimates. Pressure tests were performed in several fmrings to de. termine leakage probabilities. These tests indicate that a grout curtain is necessary to bring tbe leakage within acceptable limits, Ineffective grout curtain probably should extend down to elevation 2,220, Additional borings were made in the resavoir, and pressure tests were made to determine probable leakage losses. While the test data showed considerable losses, the presence of the relative] y flat-1ying, highly impermeable zones is conducive to watertightness provided the cutoff wall and grout curtain at the dam extend far enough to seal the area,

Metric Tables
British to Mstric Conversion


Metric Abbrevietione

f4ultiply by ft



m meter
meter ~z m3 J N

Square m
Cubic Joule Newton Kilometer

3.046 x 10-1 1,356

5,060 3.046 9.2S0 9,665 9.290 2.832 mile 1.093 9.290 mile 1.093 4.448 14,59 47.88 16.02 6695 1,459X 104 X 10-3 x lo-f x 10-2 X 10-9 X 10-2 X 10-2 x 10-2 X 10-2 x 10-2

ftlmin ftlsec fp frlyr fiz,~ec n3/sec fi3,q

mlsec mlsec m2 mlsec ~z,~ec @,~ec ~s,~mz ~3/~ec/m m3,sec\ N N/m Pa kgtm3 Pa km2

km kilometer


Pascal Kilogram

Pa kg

H3/~ec/fi f@/sec/sfl lb (force) Iblft lbtfi2 lblft3 Iblinp fdpslff

~2 ~3

y,$l yd3/fi

2..381 X 10-1 7.M8 2.509 1,609 2,590

X 10-

~sjm km km2

mile sq mile


1, Design of Small Dams, Second Edition, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1973. 2. Creager, William P., Justin, Joel D., and Hinds, Julian, Engineering for Dams, Vols. 1, 2, and 3, John Wiley and Sons, Jnc., New York, 1945. 3. Design of Gravity Dams, Bureau of Reclamation, US. Department 4, of the Interior, 1976.

17. Preliminary

Analysis of Multi-Center Thickness, Program Description

Arch Dams with Vari. and Users ,+JCZIWLZ1,

5. 6. 7. 8.


Bey, Serge Leliavsky, Experiments on Effective Uplift Areas in Gravity Dams, Uplift Pressure in and. Beneath Dams: A Symposium, ASCE Transactions, Vol. 112, 1947. Cost of Mass Concrete in Dams, MS260W, Portland Cement Association, 1973. Lane, E. W., Security fmm Under-Seepage, Masonry Dams on Earth Foundations, ASCE Ttaiwaciions, Vol. 100, 1935. JIarza, L. F., cUplift and Seepage under Dams on Sand, ASCE Transactions, Vol. UY3,1935. Khosla, R, B., Design of Weir~ on Permeable Foundations, Central Board of Irrigation Publication No. 12, New Delhi, India, June 1954, Rae, Dr. K. L., Exit Gradients in Structures on Permeable Foundations, Vol. 1, Question No. 16, Design and Construction of Damson Permeable Soils and Methods of Foundation Treatment, Jlfth International Congress on Large Dams, Paris,

SRI 04W and SRI 05W, Portland Cement Association, 1971, 18. Peterka, A, J,, Hydraulic Design of Stilling Basins and Energy Dissipators, Engineering Monograph No, 25, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of tbe Interior, 1964. 19, Soil-Cement Slope Protection for Embankments: Planning aid Design, 1S173W, Portland Cement Association, 1975, 20. Soil-Cement for Water Cmurol: Laboratory Tests, 1S 166W, Portland Cement Association, 1976. 21. Soil. Cemenr Slope Protection for Embankments: Construction, 1S 167W, Portland Cement Association, 1975,

France, 1955. 10, Arch Dam Investigation, Vol. 1, a report by the Engineering Foundation Committee on Arch Dam Investigation, November 1927. 11. Howell, C. H,, and Jaquith, A. C., Analysis of Arch Dams by RidLoad Method, ASCE 7Pansactions, Vol, 93, 1929. 12. Arch Dams with Arches of Vm-iabi. Thickness, RP157W, Portland Cement Association, 1948. 13. Perkins, W. A., Analysis of Arch Dams of Variable Thickness, ASCE Transactions, Vol. 118, 1953. 14. Coyne, Andre, Arch Dams Their Philosophy, Journal ASCE Power Division, FO 2, April 1956. t 5. CoPen, Merlin D., and Scrivner, LoyalR., Arch Dam Design: State of the Art, Journal ASCE Power Divi$ion, PC 1, January 1970. 16, Design of Arch Dams, Bureau of Reclamation, U, S. Depart. ment of the Interior, 1977. 46


KEYWORDS: Dams, concrete dams, gravity dams, buttress dams. arch dams, seepage spillways, energy dissipators, hydrology, computer program, prestressing. ABSTRAC~ Design principles and forces are discussed for small concrete gravity,
buttress, and arch dams. Design and construction safety with methods of calculation we presented for the various dams. Hydrology, spillways, energy dissipators, and prestressing are reviewed and their importance stressed in rchitionsbip to dam safety and project economy. Design examples are detailed for gravity and massive head buttress dams on rock foundation, gravity and massive bead buttress dams cm pervious foundation, and a thin double-curvature arch dam. The PCA computer program and slide rule calculations illustrate feasibility analysis for tbe various dams.

REFERENCE: Small Concrfve Dams (EBO02 .02 W), Portlmd

tion, 1980.




A organiz.fion.( .?.,.! rnanufaciurw! !. improve and cx!cnd th. .s.$.( 5420


cm!wn! and


mark.! devdl.prrc.!, c. Bi...rg,g, rc!earch, mi.<.ti.n, .nd public atiaim work.