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Site Selection for

Dams and Reservoirs

Dr. P. Sarathbabu
ANU

Dam
Barrier that stores water at two levels.
The primary purpose of dam is to store
water whenever available in plenty for
use during scarcity.
Built across rivers
Excess water is released to river and
useful water is transferred thro canals

Dams are constructed for water storage for


community and industrial use, irrigation, flood
control, hydro electric power, river canalization.
Dams depends on environmental conditions
particularly the geology of the site.
Safety is the first consideration and than cost as that
the failure of a dam results in sevior loss of life and
property.

Components of Dam

Body of Dam
Foundation
Top road
Gates and lifting devices
Spill way or Sluice
Canal
Reservoir
Main river course
Stilling Basin
Drainage gallery

Components & Forces in Dams


Gate

Upstream

Down Stream

Spill Way
Reservoir
Water

Dam Body

Drainage Gallery
Sluice gate

Foundation

Stilling Basin

Foundation Soil

Reservoir
Water
Upstream

Down Stream

Plan of Dam
Upstream
Abutment

Downstream
Left Bank Canal

Main River Course


Reservoir

Abutment

Right bank Canal

Reservoir
Water

Preliminary Investigations for Dam site


This investigations are made to ascertain its
important merits or demerits.
This kind of
investigation is necessary, so that detailed
investigations which are much more expensive,
extensive and laborious should be made only if the
site is approved. The important information
collected at this stage is as follows.
1.
2.
3.
4.

Lithology
Structure
Physiography (Topography)
Ground Water Conditions

Site selection criteria for the dams and reservoirs


Basing on the analysis of dam problems, failures and hazards
it may be concluded that the dam sites to satisfy the following
requirements.

1. The rock should be sound and resistant to the expected


static and dynamic forces including earthquakes.
2. The valley slope should be stable when the reservoir is
full. This requirement also applies to the rock
abutments.
3. The foundation of the dam should be safe from sliding,
especially in the case of gravity dam.
4.

The rock used for the foundation should be of one


geologic classification to avoid variations in the values
of modulus of elasticity.

5. The foundation and the reservoir wall should be water


tight.
6. The rock at the site should be resistant to solution,
erosion, decomposition and other detriment effects of
wetting and drying freezing and thawing.
7. The reservoir drainage area including rocks and
overburden should be resistant to erosion and therefore
not likely to contribute such heavy silt loads to the
reservoir.
8. The geology and topographic conditions should permit
favourably for the location of spillways and diversion
tunnel, power house and outlet conduits.
9. The location of construction materials particularly
concrete aggregate should be with in an economically
justified distances.

FUNCTIONS OF DAMS
Function

Example

Power
generation

Hydroelectric power is a major source of electricity in the world. many


countries have rivers with adequate water flow, that can be dammed for power
generation purposes. For eg, the Itaipu on the Paran River in South America
generates 14 GW and supplied 93% of the energy consumed by Paraguay and
20% of that consumed by Brazil as of 2005.

Stabilize water
flow / irrigation

Dams are often used to control and stabilize water flow, for agricultural
purposes and irrigation. They can help to stabilize or restore the water levels
of inland lakes and seas. They store water for drinking and other direct human
needs,

Flood prevention Dams are created for flood control.

Land
reclamation
Water diversion

Dams (often called dykes or levees) are used to prevent ingress of water to an
area that would otherwise be submerged, allowing its reclamation for human
use.
Dams are used for the purpose of diversion.

CLASSIFICATION (TYPES) OF DAMS


BASED ON PURPOSE

1. STORAGE DAM OR IMPOUNDING DAM


2. DETENTION DAM
3. DIVERSION DAM
4. COFFER DAM
5. DEBRIS DAM

1. STORAGE DAM OR IMPOUNDING DAM

It is constructed to create a reservoir to store


water during periods when there is huge flow
in the river (in excess of demand) for
utilisation later during periods of low flow
(demand exceeds flow in the river).
Water stored in the reservoir is used for
irrigation, power generation, water supply
etc. By suitable operation, it can also serve
as a detention dam.

2. DETENTION DAM

It is primarily constructed to temporarily


detain all or part of the flood water in a river
and to gradually release the stored water
later at controlled rates so that the entire
region on the downstream side of the dam is
protected from possible damage due to
floods.
It may also be used as a storage dam.

3. DIVERSION DAM

It is constructed to divert part of or all


the water from a river into a conduit or
a channel.
For diverting water from a river into an
irrigation canal, mostly a diversion weir
is constructed across the river.

4. COFFER DAM

It is a temporary dam constructed to


exclude water from a specific area. It is
constructed on the u/s side of the site
where a dam is to be constructed so
that the site is dry.
In this case, it behaves like a diversion
dam.

5. DEBRIS DAM
It is constructed to catch and retain debris flowing in a
river

BASED ON HYDRAULIC DESIGN


1. OVERFLOW DAM OR OVERFALL DAM
2. NON-OVERFLOW DAM

1. OVERFLOW DAM OR OVERFALL DAM


It is constructed with a crest to permit overflow
of surplus water that cannot be retained in the
reservoir.
Generally dams are not designed as overflow
dams for its entire length.

Diversion weirs of small height may be


designed to permit overflow over its entire
length.

2. NON-OVERFLOW DAM

It is constructed such that water is not


allowed to overflow over its crest.
In most cases, dams are so designed that part
of its length is designed as an overflow dam
(this part is called the spillway) while the rest
of its length is designed as a non-overflow
dam.
In some cases, these two sections are not
combined.

BASED ON MATERIAL OF
CONSTRUCTION
1. RIGID DAM
2. NON-RIGID DAM (EMBANKMENT DAMS)
1. RIGID DAM
It is constructed with rigid material such as stone,
masonry, concrete, steel, or timber.
Steel dams (steel plates supported on inclined
struts) and timber dams (wooden planks supported
on a wooden framework) are constructed only for
small heights (rarely).

2. NON-RIGID DAM (EMBANKMENT DAMS)


It is constructed with non-rigid material such as earth,
tailings, rockfill etc.
Earthen dam gravel, sand, silt, clay etc
Tailings dam waste or refuse obtained from mines
Rockfill dam rock material supporting a water tight
material on the u/s face
Rockfill composite dam Rockfill on the d/s side and
earth fill on the u/s side

Earthen dams are provided with a stone


masonry or concrete overflow (spillway)
section. Such dams are called composite
dams.
In some cases, part of the length of the dam
is constructed as earth dam and the rest
(excluding the spillway) as a masonry dam.
Such dams are called masonry cum earthen
dams.

BASED ON STRUCTURAL BEHAVIOUR

GRAVITY DAM
ARCH DAM
BUTTRESS DAM
EMBANKMENT DAM

GRAVITY DAM

It is a masonry or concrete dam which


resists the forces acting on it by its
own weight. Its c/s is approximately
triangular in shape.
Straight gravity dam A gravity dam
that is straight in plan.
Curved gravity plan A gravity dam
that is curved in plan.

Curved gravity dam (Arch gravity dam)


It resists the forces acting on it by
combined gravity action (its own weight)
and arch action.
Solid gravity dam Its body consists of a
solid mass of masonry or concrete
Hollow gravity dam It has hollow
spaces within its body.
Most gravity dams are straight solid
gravity dams.

Concrete Gravity Dams


Weight holds dam in place
Lots of concrete (expensive)

These dams are heavy and massive


wall-like structures of concrete in
which the whole weight acts vertically
downwards

As the entire load is transmitted on the small


area of foundation, such dams are constructed
where rocks are competent and stable.
Bhakra Dam is the highest Concrete Gravity dam in Asia
and the second highest in the world.
Bhakra Dam is across river Sutlej in Himachal Pradesh
The construction of this project was started in the year
1948 and was completed in 1963 .
It is 740 ft. high above the deepest foundation as straight
concrete dam being more than three times the height of
Qutab Minar.

Length at top 518.16m (1700 feet); width at


base 190.5m (625 feet), and at the top is
9.14m (30 feet)
Bhakra Dam is the highest Concrete Gravity
dam in Asia and Second Highest in the world.

2. ARCH DAM
It is a curved masonry or concrete dam, convex
upstream, which resists the forces acting on it by
arch action.
The only arch dam in India Idukki dam (double
curvature in plan) concrete arch dam

Arch Dams
Arch shape gives strength
Less material (cheaper)
Narrow sites
Need strong abutments

These type of dams are concrete or masonry


dams which are curved or convex upstream in
plan
This shape helps to transmit the major part of
the water load to the abutments
Arch dams are built across narrow, deep river
gorges, but now in recent years they have
been considered even for little wider valleys.

3. BUTTRESS DAM
It consists of water retaining sloping membrane or deck
on the u/s which is supported by a series of buttresses.
These buttresses are in the form of equally spaced
triangular masonry or reinforced concrete walls or
counterforts.

The sloping membrane is usually a reinforced concrete


slab. In some cases, the u/s slab is replaced by multiple
arches supported on buttresses (multiple arch buttress
dam) or by flaring the u/s edge of the buttresses to span
the distance between the buttresses (bulkhead buttress
dam or massive head buttress dam). In general, the
structural behaviour of a buttress dam is similar to that
of a gravity dam.

Buttress Dam Is a gravity dam


reinforced by structural supports
Buttress a support that transmits a
force from a roof or wall to another
supporting structure
This type of structure can be
considered even if the foundation
rocks are little weaker.

Buttress Dams
Face is held up by a series of supports
Flat or curved face

. EMBANKMENT DAM
It is a non-rigid dam which resists the forces acting
on it by its shear strength and to some extent also
by its own weight (gravity).

Its structural behaviour is in many ways different


from that of a gravity dam.

Earth or rock
Weight resists flow of water

Earth Dams
They are trapezoidal in shape.
Earth dams are constructed where the foundation or
the underlying material or rocks are weak to support
the masonry dam or where the suitable competent
rocks are at greater depth.
Earthen dams are relatively smaller in height and
broad at the base.
They are mainly built with clay, sand and gravel,
hence they are also known as Earth fill dam or Rock
fill dam

Classification of Dams
Based on Size
Based on function
Based on material used

Classification based on Size


Small Dam (<10 m high)
Medium size Dam (10 25 m high)
Large Dam (>25 m high)
Major Dam (>150 m high)

Classification based on Purpose


Hydro-electric dam
Irrigation dam
Water supply dam for city for the purposes of drinking
water, recreation, navigation thro canals, industrial use.
Flood Control
Habitat dam for fishes & wild life
Effluent containing dams from industry, mine, factory
etc.
Multi-purpose dam

Classification based on Material of construction


Masonry Dam
Concrete Dam
Timber Dam
Steel Dam
Earth Dam
Rockfill Dam
Composite Dam

Classification based on action


Gravity Dam
Arch Dam
Saddle Dam
Check Dam
Diversion Dam
Overflow Dam
Cofferdam

Gravity Dam

San Luis Dam near Los Bonos,


California an Embankment
Dam

Timber Dam

Steel Dam

Cofferdam

Power generation Plant

Spillway
Hoover Arch Dam

Timber Dam

Steel Dam

Rockfill Dam

Arch Dam
Solid Gravity Dam

Combined Earth & Rockfill Dam

Earth Dam

DAM SITES OF SOME INDIAN DAMS


Bhakranangal Dam:

It is situtated in the gorge of


Sutlej River where rocks consist of alternating bands of light
red clays and fairly hard, thick bedded sandstones with a
steep down stream dip, varying between 700-800 with the
horizontal.

Hirakud Dam:

The dam is situated across the


Mahanadi river. The foundation of rocks consists of Granite
with schistose bands, Granitic gneisses, shales and
quartzites.

Beas Dam:

The foundation rocks at the Beas dam site


consists alternate layers of sandstones and shales of siwalik

Nagarjunasagar Dam: The rock types exposed


in and around the dam site are the granite gneisses of
the peninsular gneissic complex and the quartzites and
shales belonging srisailam stage of cuddapah system.

Srisailam Dam: The main rock types are quartzite


boulders, sand intermixed with clay.

Real Life
Give an example or real life anecdote
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