Geosynthetic Shields For Dams

by Dan Morse, Assistant Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 1, Pg. 58-61

Document Type: Feature article


A series of large dams in Europe, waterproofed by geosynthetics, may become U.S. prototypes. In Europe, the faces of more than 30 large dams now contain geotextiles and geomembranes. In many cases, the geosynthetics are the only water barrier in the entire structure. For remotely located dams—where transport of heavy compaction equipment is virtually impossible—geosynthetics are chosen instead of asphaltic-concrete. Geosynthetics, due mainly to their minimal installation time, are often the least expensive option. Progress has been slower in the U.S. While geosynthetics are now regular components of landfills and surface impoundments, they are rarely used in dams.

Subject Headings: Geosynthetics | Dams | Geomembranes | Compaction (material) | Equipment and machinery | Landfills | Water storage | Europe

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