Development of a prototype of wedge-shaped block and the methodology for its usage as protection against erosion on earthfill dams

In the last years there has been an increase in the level of concern about the risk of failure of some liquid-storage facilities called ‘ponds’ (small earthfill dams). Many countries are making an important effort in order to register and control the level of safety of these installations. In consequence, the project guidelines for these type of constructions may be stricter and stricter, and it could be necessary to readapt currently constructed dams to these new criteria.

The consortia who leads this project pursues the elaboration of an innovative solution, which will permit:

(I) Easy and low-cost adaptation of existing constructions to the newest safety guidelines.

(II) Important reduction in costs for new dam projects keeping the highest safety standards.

The resulting product is a wedge-shaped block that can be used to protect these dams from erosion caused by the overtopping. So, the protected areas act as the spillway of the installation. The blocks are precast at a concrete plant so they can be easily transported and installed.

The prototypes were tested in a water chute equipped with different types of sensors. These tests also let the calibration of numerical models performed by the CIMNE.



This R&D project has been funded by: