Design of Concrete-Faced Rockfill Dams

by Mike D. Fitzpatrick,
Bruce A. Cole,
Frank L. Kinstler,
Bram P. Knoop,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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

Discussion: Coles Andrew J. (See full record)
Discussion: Kulesza Richard L. (See full record)
Discussion: Prapaitrakul N. (See full record)
Discussion: Hacelas Jorge E. (See full record)
Discussion: Tuthill Lewis (See full record)
Closure: (See full record)


Design principles adopted in 1966 by the Hydro-Electric Commission have been applied to nine concrete-faced rockfill dams and remain substantially unchanged. Experience shows that the availability of rock foundations for the plinth (or upstream toe slab) is almost the sole pre-requisite for this type of dam. Details of all major dam components and their evolutionary development are described. Leakage performance is shown to be excellent; it results from the small deflections achieved by a well-compacted rockfill embankment and from careful design and construction of all details. Although well-graded free-draining rockfill or gravel is simplest to use, weathered rockfill or dirty gravel produces an excellent embankment provided care is taken in zoning, control of moisture and compaction.

Subject Headings: Concrete | Rockfill dams | Rock fills | Earthfill dams | Dam foundations | Gravels | Foundation design | Rock properties

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