Mangrove Creek Dam: Use of Soft Rock for Rockfill

by P. R. Mackenzie,
L. A. McDonald,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Concrete Face Rockfill Dams—Design, Construction, and Performance


Mangrove Creek Dam is an 80 m high concrete faced rockfill dam (CFRD) completed in 1981. The embankment was constructed largely out of low strength sandstones and siltstones available on site. Such soft rocks have usually been considered unsuitable for large dams with steep face slopes. The innovative feature enabling their use in this case was the embankment zoning. An intermediate basalt drainage zone was designed to carry the maximum flow that could pass through an upstream semi-pervious zone, thereby protecting a downstream random zone from the effects of saturation. Rockfill permeability, measured during construction, was lower than expected requiring a reduction in added water and introduction of horizontal drainage layers in the semi-pervious zone. The performance of the dam to date has been excellent with low settlement and very low leakage.

Subject Headings: Concrete dams | Rivers and streams | Soil strength | Earthfill dams | Rock properties | Rockfill dams | Rock fills | Permeability (soil) | Australia

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