Hydraulic failures .... 40%
Seepage failures…….. 30%
Structural failures .... 30%
(2) Erosion of u/s slope by waves
(3) Erosion of d/s slope by wind and rain
(4) Erosion of d/s toe
(5) Frost action
(1) Overtopping = the design flood is under estimated.
spillway capacity is not adequet
spillway gates are not properly operated
free board is not sufficient
excessive settlement of the foundation and dam
(2) Erosion of u/s slope by waves = The waves developed near the top water surface due to the winds, try to notch out the soil from the upstream face and may even, sometimes, cause the slip of the upstream slope.
Upstream stone pitching or riprap should, therefore, be provided to avoid such failures.
(3) Erosion of d/s slope by wind and rain = The rainwater flowing down the slope; may result in the formation of 'gullies' on the downstream slope thus damaging the dam which may generally lead to partial failure of the dam or in some cases it may cause complete failure of the dam.
Erosion of d/s toe : = Toe erosion may occur due to two reasons :
erosion due to tail water
erosion due to cross currents that may come from spillway buckets.
Frost action : = If the earth dam is located at a place where the temperature falls below the freezing point, frost may form in the pores of the soil in the earth dam.
When there is heaving, the cracks may form in the soil. This may lead to dangerous seepage and consequent failure.
Seepage failures : = Seepage failures may occur due to the following causes :
(1) Piping through the foundation
(2) Piping through the dam
(3) Sloughing of d/s toe
Structural failures :=
Structural failures in earth dams are generally shear failures leading to sliding of the tents or the foundations.
(1) u/s and d/s slope failures due to construction pore pressures
(2) u/s slope failure due to sudden drawdown
(3) D/s slope failure due to steady seepage
(4) Foundation slide due to spontaneous liquefaction
(5) Failure due to earthquake
(6) Failure by spreading
(7) Slope protection failures
(8) Failure due to damage caused by borrowing animals
(9) Failure due to holes caused by leaching of water soluable salts
Criteria for safe Design of Earth Dam :
Section of an Earth Dam :
The design of an earth dam essentially consists of determining such a cross section
the dam which when constructed with the available materials will fulfill its required
tion with adequate safety. Thus there are two aspects of the design of an earth dam.