Geology and Dams

Jun 30th, 2015
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On a large dam construction project the engineering geologist is concerned with: • the geology of the dam site including the foundation for the dam itself and the sites for other structures such as spillway, diversion tunnel and outlet works. Questions that need an answer include whether the dam foundation has sufficient strength and durability to support

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Geology and DamsOn a large dam construction project the engineering geologist is concerned with:the geology of the dam site including the foundation for the dam itself and the sites for other structures such as spillway, diversion tunnel and outlet works. Questions that need an answer include whether the dam foundation has sufficient strength and durability to support the type of dam proposed, whether the foundation is watertight and if not how much grouting will be required and whether the spillway will require concrete lining;the geology of the area to be occupied by the reservoir once the dam is completed. Questions often asked here include whether the storage area is watertight or are there areas of cavernous limestone which might lead to the dam not retaining water and whether landslides into the reservoir are possible which might cause a wave of water to be pushed over the top of the dam;finding sources of the construction materials which will be needed to build the dam.Extensive site investigations are usually required to answer these questions. No two dam sites are identical as far as geology is concerned so each new dam construction project must be investigated individually. Some dam sites may be relatively uniform in their geology ie one rock type with a simple structure and a regular pattern of surface weathering. More often though the geology will be complex with several different rock types with different physical properties such as strength, durability a

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