Performance of Upper Stillwater Dam

by Alan T. Richardson, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Roller Compacted Concrete III


Upper Stillwater Dam was constructed with roller compacted concrete (RCC) and horizontally slipformed facing. This unique construction method for a concrete gravity dam included no contraction joints or post placement cooling system. Each spring, since the dam's completion in the fall of 1987, the reservoir has been filled by the spring runoff providing an excellent opportunity to observe the dam's behavior to repeated loading cycles. Instruments record the dam's response to natural cooling and the repeated load cycles. Deformation observed in the foundation, cooling of the dam, formation of cracks and leakage past the dam are discussed. Leakage along lift lines has not been noticeable. Cracks through the dam have formed blocks smaller in length than the 50- to 55-foot (15.2 to 16.8 m) long blocks previously formed in conventionally built concrete dams. The dam functions satisfactorily; however, obvious leakage through cracks creates an undesirable appearance. Based on experience with Upper Stillwater Dam, RCC dams should incorporate waterstopped contraction joints to avoid development of uncontrolled transverse cracks.

Subject Headings: Dams | Concrete dams | Roller-compacted concrete | Construction methods | Repeated loads | Dam foundations | Gravity dams | Foundation construction | Utah | United States

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