Embankment Overtopping—Case Histories

by S. Paul Miller, USAE Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS, USA,
David C. Ralston, USAE Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


Because many existing dams are subject to overtopping, there is a need to understand embankment behavior during an overtopping event. Understanding of this behavior will allow evaluation of specific embankments and provide a basis for design of protective measures. This paper describes overtopping incidents which illustrate basic erosion and destruction mechanisms. Prototype experience indicates many embankments can survive shallow overtopping for short durations. Under some conditions embankments have withstood relatively high overtoppings (5-6 feet) for extended periods. Critical factors influencing embankment performance are identified.

Subject Headings: Wave overtopping | History | Case studies | Embankment dams | Erosion

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