16 Types of Dams | Hoover Dam

all about of Dam

What Is Dam?

What Is Dam?A dam, often referred to by various dam types, is an artificial barrier that prevents the flow of surface water from moving forward.

Reservoirs are formed by collecting huge amounts of water through dams.

The dam can supply water for various activities like irrigation, human consumption, industrial consumption, and aquaculture.

Hydropower plants can be set up together with various dams to generate electricity.

Dams are commonly used to store water.

Different types of dams are used in different situations in the world.

These dams include Gravity Dams, Earth Dams, Rockfill Dams, Arc Dams, Butters Dams, Steel Dams, and Timber Dams.

The construction of the dam is done to satisfy the above objectives.

Or it may be intended to accomplish more than one goal. Dams are known as single-purpose and multi-purpose dams, depending on the number of purposes.

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Parts of Dam

1. Crest

The uppermost part of the dam is called the creat. Which is sometimes used for roads/pedestrians etc.

2. Heel

This part contacts the ground of the base surface of the dam in the upstream portion.

3. Toe

This part of the dam is located downstream portion side. This part contacts the bearing surface of the ground at the bottom of the dam.

4. Parapet Walls

This part of the dam, often considered in parapit wall design, is built to build protective walls on both sides of the road on the crest.

5. Spillway

A reservoir formed by a dam has a system near the top of the dam to allow this excess water to pass in the event of a sudden overflow of the dam. Which is called a spillway.

6. Abutments

This part is the defense structure on both sides of the end of the dam. Abutments are protective structures made for the sloping side of the ground.

7. Gallery

It is constructed in the main part of the dam for seepage/leakage and other maintenance.

8. Sluice Gate

A sluice gate is used in the dam to clear silt deposits in the reservoir.

16. Types of Dams in Construction

1. Gravity Dams

Gravity Dams

The gravity dam is large in size and made mainly of concrete or stone.

This type of dam is capable of holding a large amount of water behind them.

Gravity dams have the ability to withstand various external forces by their own weight or self-weight.

The construction of a gravity dam can usually be done using masonry or concrete.

Various external factors on this gravity dam include pressure, uplift pressure, wave pressure, ice pressure, earthquake pressure, etc.

Therefore a strong and durable base is required to build this type of dam.

The cross-section of the gravity dam is almost triangular in shape.

In this type of dam, a gallery is provided inside the dam to resist uplift pressure.

2. Buttress Dam

Buttress Dam

A buttress dam is a type of dam. This type of dam is supported by a series of slight buttresses at downstream side intervals.

In this type, the wall of the dam can be straight or curved.

Most of the Buttress dams are made of hollow-type reinforced concrete.

The construction of the Buttress Dam includes a face slab, buttress, base slab, etc. In this type of dam, the face slab is provided on the upstream side and this slab is supported by a series of buttresses on the downstream side.

The design of the buttress dam can be made straight or curved in the plan.

The number of buttresses is determined by the height of the dam.

This type of dam is preferred where the soil is very weak.

This type of dam can be used for many purposes, like the installation of water purification plants, power plant installation, etc.

3. Arch Dam

Arch Dam

The arch dam, similar to what type of dam is the hoover dam, is built with a curved structure over the right location.

It resists various external forces coming on the dam through its arch-like structure.

This type of dam can be constructed using masonry or concrete. But gravity is less expensive than dams.

Abutments should be strong in this type of dam. Because all the load is transferred over this abutment. Abutments for the construction of this type of dam are usually natural structures like hills.

Arch dams are especially preferred for narrow valleys.

Since this type of dam is used in a valley-like location, its length is less than its height.

As a result, arch dams are economically advantageous. This type of demo can be made to a greater height in a special case.

4. Embankment Dam

Embankment Dam

Embankment dam is an artificial type of dam. It is formed by the placement and compaction of various materials of sand, clay, or rock.

The surface of this type of dam is semi-extensive like waterproof, dence, and impervious core.

Embankment dams are divided into three different types.

4.1 Homogeneous Embankment

Only one type of clay is used for the construction of this type of dam.

This is commonly called homogeneous embankment. This type of dam allows water to seepage.

4.2 Zoned Embankment Type Dam

Formation of this type of dam An impermeable soil zone is formed within the zone-wise soil layer. In this type of dam, the soil is mixed with the rocks to form an impenetrable area.

Normal clay is used to strengthen the outer layer.

4.3 Diaphragm Embankment Dam

The formation of this type of dam is the formation of a diaphragm within the soil layer. The design of this diaphragm can be made of concrete, steel, and wood. Which are made using strong materials. This type of Diaphragm Embankment Dam prevents drainage.

5. Steel Dam

Steel Dam

Steel dams are constructed from steel structures. In this type of steel dam, the water pressure is transmitted directly through the struts to the foundation.

A series of footings anchored to the ground has been made for the steel dam.

The load of the struts series is shifted on this footing. A load of a series of deck girders is transferred over a series of these struts.

This type of dam is used up to a height of 15 to 18 meters.

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Types According to Dam Functions

6. Storage Dam

Storage Dam

Storage dams are usually constructed to store water flowing into the river during the rainy season.

This type of dam is used when there is a high demand for water in dry weather conditions.

The water stored by this dam can be used for various purposes like power generation, irrigation, water supply, etc.

7. Debris Dam

Debris Dam

Debris dams have been constructed in the river to prevent debris in the river water. Materials like sand, gravel, driftwood, etc., are carried in river water.

Clear water flows downstream through this type of dam.

8. Diversion Dam

Diversion Dam

Diversion dams are typically designed to divert water to other rivers or canals.

These types of dams are commonly used to deliver water to irrigation canals.

9. Detention Dam

Detention Dam

The purpose of this type of dam is to control floods caused by incessant rains.

This type of dam protects the downstream side from flood damage by storing water during the flood period.

After the flood period, water collected from this type of dam is released downstream at a controlled rate.

10. Cofferdam


The cofferdam, which works similarly to the dam easy flood barrier, is commonly used as a diversion dam.

A cofferdam is a temporary structure that can be used to divert water flow to other reservoirs to provide a dry area for the construction of the main dam.

It is typically built on the upstream side or around the construction site.

11. Hydro-Power Dam

Hydro Power Dam

Hydro-power dams are mainly used to generate electricity.

This dam is used to generate electricity by turning turbines with the help of water moving from top to bottom.

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Type According to the Hydraulic Design of the Dam

12. Overflow Dam

Overflow Dam

An overflow dam is a type of dam. Surplus water flows from the upstream side through this type of dam.

This type of dam allows flow from the crest.

This type of dam is also called a spillway dam or over fall dam.

13. Non-Overflow Dam

Non Overflow Dam

This type of dam does not allow excess water to overflow from the crest.

A spillway-like structure is usually constructed in the dam for the release of excess water.

Type of dam according to the storage of the dam.

14. Small Dam

Small Dam

A dam with an approximate total storage capacity of between 0.5 and 10 mcm (million cubic meters) can be defined as a small dam.

The hydraulic head of this type of dam can usually be around 7.5 to 12 meters.

15. Medium Dam

Medium Dam

A dam with an approximate total storage capacity of between 10 and 60 mcm (million cubic meters) can be defined as a Medium Dam.

The hydraulic head of this type of dam can usually be around 12 to 30 meters.

16. Large Dam

Large Dam

Dams with a total storage capacity of more than 60 MCM (million cubic meters) can be defined as large dams.

The hydraulic head of this type of dam can usually be more than 30 meters.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Dam?

A dam is a structure built across a stream or river to hold water back. Dams can be used to store water, control flooding, and generate electricity.

What Is the Biggest Dam in the World?

Three Gorges Dam, China, is the world’s largest hydroelectric facility. According to Wikimedia, the Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric gravity dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping in Yiling District, Yichang, Hubei province, China.

What Is the Hoover Dam?

Hoover Dam is named for Mr. Herbert Hoover, the Nation’s 31st president. When construction of the dam was initiated, on September 30, 1930, Secretary of the Interior Ray Lyman Wilbur ordered that the dam to be built in the Black Canyon of Colorado as part of the Boulder Canyon Project Act be called “Hoover Dam.”

What Is the Largest Dam in the World?

Kariba Dam is the world’s biggest dam based on water storage capacity. Located at the former Kariwa (Kariba) Gorge, the dam creates Lake Kariba, which has a storage capacity of 185 billion cubic meters of water and a surface area of 5,580 km2. Lake Kariba covers a length of 280km and is 32km wide at its widest section.

What State Is the Hoover Dam In?

Grand Canyon is located in northern Arizona. The national park spans the Colorado River from Glen Canyon Dam in the east to the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead in the west, a distance of 277 miles (455 km).

What River Is the Hoover Dam On?

Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, spanning the Arizona-Nevada state line, are located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River about 35 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a concrete thick-arch structure, 726.4 feet high and 1,244 feet long.

What Is the Use of Dam?

Dams and reservoirs are constructed to store surplus water during wet periods, which can be used for irrigating arid lands. One of the major benefits of dams and reservoirs is that water flows can be regulated as per agricultural requirements of the various regions over the year.

How High Is the Hoover Dam?

Hoover Dam is 726 feet (221 meters) high and 1,244 feet (379 meters) long at the crest. It contains 4,400,000 cubic yards.

What Is a Dam For?

Dams help in preventing floods. They catch extra water so that it doesn’t run wild downstream. Dam operators can let water out through the dam when needed. The first upstream flood control dam was built in 1948, Cloud Creek Dam in Oklahoma.

How Is a Dam Made?

They can be constructed of a variety of materials, including bricks, stones, concrete, steel, or PVC. Once built, the water stored behind the dam raises the water table and is then extracted with wells. A sand-storage dam is a weir built in stages across a stream or wadi.

What Is Dam and Types of Dam?

The two main types are earth-fill dams and rock-fill dams. Earthfall dams are made up mostly of compacted earth, while rockfill dams are made up mainly of dumped and compacted rockfill. The materials are usually excavated or quarried from nearby sites, preferably within the reservoir basin.

What Is a River Dam?

A barrier of concrete, earth, etc., is built across a river to create a body of water for a hydroelectric power station, domestic water supply, etc., a reservoir of water created by such a barrier. 3. something that resembles or functions as a dam.

How Are Dams Built?

The dam is raised in steps of about 600 mm. The edges are formed first by making low concrete walls on the upstream and downstream faces of the dam. Concrete is then transported to the area between the walls and spread in a thin layer using bulldozers. Rollers are then driven over the concrete to compact it down.

How Do They Build Dams?

This varies considerably depending on local conditions, weather, and the size of the sand dam. However, most sand dams will take between one and two months to get from the start of excavation works to the completion of the sand dam.

How Are Dams Made?

A dam is a structure commonly built across a river or stream to create a large reservoir behind it. We use dams for various human consumption purposes such as irrigation, hydroelectric power, reducing peak floodwater, and improving navigation.

How to Build a Small Dam?

Small earthen dams, where the semi-circular or curved earth dykes are frequently under 3 m high and 60 m long, are normally built by hand and using animal traction. They can normally be serviced and repaired by the community that uses them.

How Are Dams Useful to Us?

Dams are important because they provide water for domestic, industrial, and irrigation purposes. Dams often also provide hydroelectric power production and river navigation. Dams and their reservoirs provide recreation areas for fishing and boating. They help people by reducing or preventing floods.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Dam?

A conventional weir-type check dam costs around Rs 82 crore and takes almost one year to construct.

How Are Dams Constructed?

This is a typical sequence of events for constructing a dam and creating a reservoir:

  1. Diverting the river.
  2. Preparing the foundation for the dam.
  3. Building the dam. – Concrete dam. – Embankment dam.
  4. Filling the reservoir.
  5. Testing that valves and floodgates work.

How Much Does a Dam Cost?

The average DAM pricing is quite high – more than $50,000 per year. However, that average is skewed by some enterprise-centric DAMs that demand a high price. The reality is that you can find a respectable DAM for as little as $150 per month. DAM’s pricing is affected by a few key factors.

How to Make a Mini Dam?

With all your gear in hand, it is time to get stuck in.
Step 1: Prepare the ground and create the dam frame. …
Step 2: Pour the concrete. …
Step 3: Build the main sluice gates. …
Step 4: Complete the main dam. …
Step 5: Install the sluice gate actuator and finish the project.

How Are Water Dams Built?

This varies considerably depending on local conditions, weather, and the size of the sand dam. However, most sand dams will take between one and two months to get from the start of excavation works to the completion of the sand dam.

How to Build a Small Concrete Dam?

A concrete dam is built in four shapes; gravity dam, concrete buttress dam, arch dam, and arch-gravity dam. The gravity, buttress, and arch-gravity dams use their weight as strength to counteract water pressure by pushing downward. The arch dam uses the concrete as its strength by being weighed down by the pressure of water.

How to Build a Cofferdam?

Wooden or timber sheets are driven into the river bed on the perimeter of the area of construction. On the inside, steel or iron sheets are driven into the river bed. These inside sheets are placed at equal distances with the help of wales which are bolted to both sheets for either side.

How Much Does a Small Dam Cost?

The average cost of constructing a dam might vary. A basic ordinary farm dam with a water capacity of around 2.5mgl will cost approximately $12,000, depending on the site characteristics and other factors.

How to Build a Dam Wall?

The materials used for the construction of dams include earth, rock, tailings from mining or milling, concrete, masonry, steel, timber, miscellaneous materials (such as plastic or rubber), and any combination of these materials.

How to Build an Earthen Dam?

Earth fill dam, also called earth dam or embankment dam, a dam built up by compacting successive layers of earth, using the most impervious materials to form a core and placing more permeable substances on the upstream and downstream sides.

How to Build a Mini Dam?

Fill the Tupperware container with sand. Dig the path of a river in the sand. Choose a spot somewhere along the river to build your dam. Use popsicle sticks and small rocks to construct a dam that will let only a little bit of water come through, but not too much.

How to Make a Water Dam?

If you’re going to construct a dam, you need a river, and it’s easy to make a small one with a plastic paint tray, some rocks, sand, and gravel, a bucket of water, and a small submersible pump, such as you would use for an indoor fountain. Fill the bottom of the paint tray with sand, then add rocks and gravel to simulate a rocky hillside.

How Does a Cofferdam Work?

A cofferdam is, a watertight enclosure from which water is pumped to expose the bed of a body of water in order to permit the construction of a pier or other hydraulic work. Cofferdams are made by driving sheet piling, usually steel in modern works, into the bed to form a watertight fence.

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