Case Studies

South Fork Dam (Pennsylvania, 1889)

South Fork Dam was an earth- and rock-fill dam located about 8 miles east of Johnstown, PA. Originally constructed in 1852, the dam’s primary purpose was to provide a source of water for a division of the Pennsylvania Canal. The dam was approximately 72 feet high…
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Spencer Dam (Nebraska, 2019)

Spencer Dam was a dam constructed for hydropower in 1927 on the Niobrara River in northern Nebraska. The dam consisted of a 3,200-foot-long embankment section and a 500-foot-long powerhouse/spillway section. The dam’s maximum height was 26 feet.
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St. Francis Dam (California, 1928)

Located approximately forty miles northwest of Los Angeles, California, St. Francis Dam was a curved concrete gravity dam constructed between 1924 and 1926 in order to provide a storage reservoir for the Los Angeles Aqueduct system…
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Swift and Two Medicine Dams (Montana, 1964)

The second week of June 1964 brought one of the worst natural disasters in Montana’s recorded history. In all, the flooding caused 30 deaths, upwards of $60M in damages…
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Aerial view of original Taum Sauk Reservoir after failure showing the 656 ft breach.

Taum Sauk Dam (Missouri, 2005)

Taum Sauk Pump Storage Plant was constructed by United Electric in Reynolds County, Missouri between 1960 and 1962 to provide a means of hydroelectric power generation during peak demand periods. The plant consisted of an Upper Reservoir situated atop Proffit Mountain…
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Tempe Town Lake Dam (Arizona, 2010)

Historically, the Salt River was a perennial source of water to the early residents of the Phoenix Valley. With a drainage area of nearly 13,000 square miles, the river provided many benefits to the area including water for irrigation and recreation during the very hot summer months. However, the river also proved to be an unpredictable flooding hazard, and would periodically experience major floods that washed out roads and bridges, including the railroad bridge in the late 1800’s and Mill Avenue Bridge in the 1990’s.
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Testalinden Dam (British Columbia, 2010)

Testalinden Dam was constructed in the 1930’s at the headwaters of Testalinden Creek at 1,810 m elevation near the summit of Mount Kobau, approximately 1,500 m above the Okanagan River valley below (see figures). The 2.5 m high dam was constructed…
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Teton Dam (Idaho, 1976)

Teton Dam was located in southeastern Idaho about 15 miles from Rexburg in the valley of the Teton River. The dam and its reservoir were the principal elements of the Teton Basin Project designed by the Bureau of Reclamation to control flooding as well as provide a source of…
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Tous Dam (Spain, 1982)

Tous Dam is located in the Province of Valencia in the southeast corner of Spain, near the Mediterranean Coast. The dam is the last flood control structure on the Júcar River Basin, an 8,340-square-mile drainage. The Júcar River Basin ranges dramatically between sea level…
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Vajont Dam (Italy, 1963)

Vajont Dam is a double-curved, thin-arch dam, and at 860 feet high, it remains one of the tallest dams in the world. The dam is 11 feet wide at the crest, 73 feet wide at the base, with a crest length of 623 feet. There are 16 gates on the crest with an underground powerhouse…
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