Evaluation of Cougar Embankment Performance

by Robert J. Pope,


Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 4, Pg. 231-250


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: Cougar Dam is a 445-ft-high rockfill embankment completed in 1964, having a volume of 12,700,000 cu yd. It has a narrow impervious core upstream of centerline, gravel transition zones, and outer zones of basalt rockfill which were spread in 18-in. to 36-in. layers and compacted by tractors and vibratory rollers. Construction pore-water pressures developed in the predominantly ML core malarial placed at about 1% over optimum ranged from 20% to 50% of the fill pressure. Maximum settlement of the cross arms during construction of the rockfill occurred at mid-height and amounted to 4.7 ft. The total compression of the rockfill at the end of construction was 8.5 ft. The downstream shoulder of the crest of the dam at maximum height has settled 1.4 ft and deflected downstream 1.75 ft in 3 yr since completion. Most of this deformation occurred during the first filling to fail pool and 158 ft of drawdown. Differential settlement between zones caused longitudinal cracks in the crest rock surfacing and one shallow transverse crack occurred near the left abutment.

Subject Headings: Rivers and streams | Construction management | Rock fills | Pore pressure | Cracking | Earthfill dams | Rockfill dams

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