Large-Scale Embankment Overtopping Protection Tests

by Kathleen H. Frizell, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, United States,
James F. Ruff, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), Colorado State University (CSU), and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have an ongoing cooperative research effort to determine low-cost, feasible methods for providing overtopping protection for embankment dams. Investigations have progressed to testing an overlapping tapered concrete block shape developed from Reclamation's laboratory flume tests and installing the blocks over gravel filter material in a near-prototype size facility. The overlapping portion of the block produced an offset, or step, where drains, located through the blocks, provide relief of uplift pressure in the underlying filter. The test program in the large facility closely matched that the laboratory. The stability of the overlapping tapered block system has been confirmed by the large scale tests.

Subject Headings: Embankment dams | Wave overtopping | Laboratory tests | Structural safety | Filters | Field tests | Electric power

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