Granular-Fill Dam Protected by PVC Membrane

by Lawrence W. Gubbe, (A.M.ASCE), Vice-Pres.; Barr Engrg. Co., Minneapolis, Minn.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 9, Pg. 72-75

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: The design and construction of the Minorca Tailings Basin Starter Dam sets a precedent for the use of plastic membrane for seepage control in the construction of earth fill dams where more conventional methods of seepage control may not be economical. The dam is unique in that it is constructed entirely of granular fill placed in zones of varying gradations within the embankment. Seepage through the embankment is controlled by a 20 mil (.51 m) membrane placed on the upstream side of the embankment and covered with a protective layer of granular fill. It is believed that this is the first application of a PVC membrane for a project of this kind.

Subject Headings: Chloride | Earth-fill dams | Membranes | Seepage | Tailings |

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