American Society of Civil Engineers

Diaphragm Walls at the Canton Dam Auxiliary Spillway

by Michael P. Walker, P.E., M.ASCE, (GEI Consultants, Inc.; 400 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn, MA 01801. E-mail:, Mary C. Nodine, P.E., M.ASCE, (GEI Consultants, Inc.; 4601 DTC Boulevard, Suite 900, Denver, CO, 80237. E-mail:, and Rick Deschamps, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, (Nicholson Construction, 12 McClane St. Cuddy, PA 15031-9754. E-mail:
Section: Supported Excavations, pp. 204-212, (doi:

     Access full text
     Purchase Subscription
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Earth Retention Conference 3
Abstract: Canton Lake Dam is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) flood control project located in north-central Oklahoma. When it became necessary to increase the spillway discharge capacity to pass the probable maximum flood (PMF), the Corps decided to construct an auxiliary spillway through the right abutment. The auxiliary spillway channel is 450 feet wide, with walls totaling 1,470 feet in length retaining up to 50 feet of soil and rock in the dam abutment. The spillway training walls consist of 2-foot-wide concrete diaphragm walls with up to two rows of prestressed strand anchors. This site was geotechnically challenging, with relatively weak and erodible rock and soil. This paper presents a case study of the design and construction of the training walls for the Canton Lake Dam auxiliary spillway. The walls were designed as reinforced concrete hydraulic structures in accordance with Corps of Engineers guidelines. A combination of methods was used for design, including soil-structure interaction software (WALLAP), slope stability and seepage analysis software (SLOPE/W and SEEP/W), and conventional techniques. The application of diaphragm wall construction for permanent training walls of the spillway channel provided unusual challenges, including the design of tiebacks for extreme flood water levels behind the wall. Limited guidelines and standards for the design of permanent tiebacks also made the selection of appropriate load cases and factors of safety challenging.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Diaphragm walls