Roller Compacted Concrete for Embankment Overtopping Protection

by Francis G. McLean, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Boise, United States,
Kenneth D. Hansen, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Boise, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Geotechnical Practice in Dam Rehabilitation


In the first National Dam Safety Inventory and inspection performed by the Corps of Engineers, the majority of deficiencies found were related to the inability of the project to retain or safely pass the Probable Maximum Flood, i.e., a hydraulic deficiency. The ability to economically modify a project to remedy this type of deficiency is particularly important for small dams. A method which has proven both effective and economical is the use of roller compacted concrete (RCC) to provide additional spillway capacity or protection for safe overtopping of embankment dams. At this time, thirty projects in the USA have been modified using RCC, and several have been tested by experiencing spillway or overtopping flows. This paper presents a summary of projects where RCC has been used; a review of design considerations involved in this type of remedial construction; and a review of the `soils' approach to RCC mix design and construction procedures. Comments on successes, performance, and lessons learned, or suggestions for improvements are presented.

Subject Headings: Embankment dams | Concrete dams | Wave overtopping | Roller-compacted concrete | Spillways | Project management | Dam safety | United States

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