Geotechnical Engineering - Dams


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"Geotechnical Engineering - Dams" is a PowerPoint for primary and secondary students that focuses on detailing the field of Geotechnical Engineering and the types and construction of dams. It also highlights careers in the field of Geotechnical Engineering. This lesson can be paired with a "Building Dams" activity.

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  • Clockwise starting with top left: Close up picture of the Hoover Dam; full picture of the Hoover Dam; Palm tree island in Dubai
  • Geotechnical Engineering - Dams

    1. 1. What is Geotechnical Engineering? Geo = earth Technical = having special knowledge What do Geotechnical Engineers do? Evaluate soil properties to fully understand the below surface conditions of an area. Design the foundations that structures will be built on.
    2. 2. Why do we need Geotechnical Engineers? Questions Geotechnical Engineers answer: How tall can we make a building on this ground? What kind of foundation will be able to support this structure? Can we build a road, bridge or dam here? If we cut through this mountain, will the slopes collapse down onto the road?
    3. 3. When do we need Geotechnical Engineers? In order to have a successful structure, you have to have a successful foundation. If the foundation fails then the structure will fail. Need to protect against differential settlement, rock slides (slope stability), flooding and many other types of failures. So to answer the question…Geotechnical Engineers are needed whenever there is construction!
    4. 4. Geotechnical and Structural Engineering Gone Wrong
    5. 5. Geotechnical and Structural Engineering Gone Wrong Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota August 1st, 2007
    6. 6. Geotechnical and Structural Engineering Gone Right
    7. 7. What is a Dam? A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams; they serve the purpose of retaining water. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are often used in conjunction with dams to generate electricity. A dam can also be used to collect water or for the storage of water, which can be evenly distributed between locations.
    8. 8. Types of Dams… Arch Dams - Distributes force to the walls of the valley or canyon Gravity Dam - Uses the weight of the concrete to absorb the forces of the water
    9. 9. Buttress Dam -Uses buttresses to transfer the force of the water to the foundation Types of Dams… Embankment Dam -Uses mounds of soil or rock with an impervious core to hold the forces of the water
    10. 10. Careers with Geotechnical Engineering • Salary: $51,000–$61,000 • Education: Bachelor’s • Experience: 0-2 years Civil Engineer • Salary: $50,000–$57,000 • Education: Bachelor’s • Experience: 0-2 years Geotechnical Engineer • Salary: $43,000–$57,000 • Education: Bachelor’s • Experience: 0-2 years Construction Coordinator
    11. 11. Civil Engineer Designs and supervises construction projects such as airports, bridges, channels, dams, railroads and roads. Responsibilities also include estimating costs and personnel and material needs, preparing proposals and establishing completion dates.
    12. 12. Geotechnical Engineer Prepares and inspects projects involving drilling and exploration. Responsible for geological mapping, report writing, site characterization, numerical modeling and analysis of excavations/supports.
    13. 13. Construction Coordinator Coordinates construction scheduling and communication, and acts as a liaison to the project management concerning bids, subcontracting, progress and delays. May be responsible for estimates, schedules, materials and purchase orders. Supervises the installation of equipment and components in the assigned field. Requires technical knowledge to assist installing contractors.
    14. 14. Hoover Dam Facts There is enough concrete in the Hoover Dam (4 1/2 million cubic yards) to build a 2 lane road from Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida or a 4 ft. wide sidewalk around the Earth at the Equator. More than 8.5 million pounds of dynamite was used to blast the foundation for the dam and 8 miles of tunnels through the canyon walls.