Design, Construction and Performance of Sesquilé Dam

by Tomás Shuk, (M.ASCE), Partner and Chf. Engr.; Geotech. Dept., Geocolombia Ltda.; Bogotá, Colombia,
Ricardo Cajiao, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. and Chf. Engr.; Soils Div., Ingetec Ltda., Bogotá, Colombia,
Jesús M. Sierra, Asst. to Chf. Engr.; Soils Div., Ingetec Ltda., Bogotá, Colombia,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 1, Pg. 177-197

Document Type: Journal Paper


Sesquilé Dam is a 41.5-m earth fill rolled dam with a thin inclined core, located near Bogotá, Colombia. Two uncommon features of this dam are the underwater excavation and uncompacted fill for the foundation of the main dam, and the unusual depth (80 m maximum) of the cut-off wall. Design expectations with regard to the as-built density characteristics of the underwater fill were surpassed through the use of strict but practical specifications, and by careful inspection of the dredging and dumping operations and sequences. Provisions to minimize cracking of the concrete cut-off included construction of the wall near the upstream toe after a large part of the fill had been built. No significant cracking of the wall has been detected in the seven years since closure of the dam. Potentially dangerous uplift pressures, have been treated satisfactorily by a relief-well system. Seepage losses through this system are within economically tolerable limits. The performance of Sesquilé Dam has been satisfactory.

Subject Headings: Earthfill dams | Dam foundations | Infrastructure construction | Dams | Underwater foundations | Fills | Core walls | Dredged materials | Colombia | South America

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