Rehabilitation of Cracked Embankment Dams

by James R. Talbot, USDA, Washington, United States,
Clifton E. Deal, USDA, Washington, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Geotechnical Practice in Dam Rehabilitation


Cracking is a common phenomenon in many earth embankment dams and especially those small to medium size dams constructed on compressible soil foundations. Collapsible soil conditions, found in arid areas of the Western and Midwestern United States, present particularly severe conditions related to cracking. A new finite element computer program has been developed to analyze stability and show areas of tension and compression during passage of a wetting front so as to determine the areas of probable damage. Laboratory and field studies show that properly designed filter zones can prevent concentrated leaks from developing in cracked embankment dams. Filters have been installed by trenching into existing embankment dams as a rehabilitation measure.

Subject Headings: Embankment dams | Dam foundations | Cracking | Rehabilitation | Earthfill dams | Soil compression | Soil properties | Soil-structure interaction | United States

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