Arch Dam Design: State of the Art

by Merlin D. Copen, (F.ASCE), Head; Concrete Dams Section, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO,
Loyd R. Scrivner,

Serial Information: Journal of the Power Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 1, Pg. 93-108

Document Type: Journal Paper


Shapes, which take advantage of inherent structural qualities of arch dams, are being adapted to sites which were previously not considered for such structures. Modern design methods permit rapid, reliable evaluation of many alternative solutions for each site, subjected to all anticipated loading conditions. Good comparisons of computed with measured prototype behavior have substantiated design analyses. Better understanding of foundation requirements and rock mechanics have contributed greater safety and efficiency to arch dam design. Prominent current trends include thinner, doubly curved arch dams, shaped in plan to most effectively meet site conditions.

Subject Headings: Arch dams | Dam foundations | Foundation design | Permits | Site investigation | Load factors | Comparative studies | Rock mechanics

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