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Mosul Dam: The most
dangerous dam in the
world.
OVERVIEW
Nadhir Al-Ansari
Professor, Lulea University of Technology, Swede...
Tigris River
Mosul reservoir reservoir
Spillway
Mosul dam site
North Al-Jazeera pumping
station
Hydropower generation
Mosul Dam Scheme
Mosul dam project (1986)
Main spillway
Mosul Dam is one of the biggest water projects in
Iraq.
Purpose
•Flood control
•Irrigation of area (2500ha projected)direc...
• The total volume of material for the embankment is
reported to be around 37.7 million m3
• The upstream and downstream e...
Total Storage Capacity 11.11km3
Live Storage 8.16km3
Dead Storage 2.95km3
 Geotechnical
• Site selection
• Foundation
Problems
Karstified limestone and gypsum in the foundations of the dam
Solution crack
Sinkhole under a concrete pavement
Soil failure in a village on left abutment
Upstream right abutment, open fissure resulting from
slab slide
Sinkholes and Dissolution Phenomena
In March 2002 a large
dissolution tunnel was
discovered in a gypsum/
anhydrite layer i...
Seepage from left abutment (photos taken in 2003)
The situation was stable with continuing dissolution .
Discharge showed ...
Sinkholes and Dissolution Phenomena
The existence of (Wadi
Dermalih) under ground
aquifer was established
during the const...
The Reservoir
W. A - 380 Km2
Boat path
Mosul reservoir boundary at 300 m a.s.l
Areas of sedimentation
Why we are worried now?
1.Continuous seepage: It seems that the seepage
is increasing in 2015 (USACE)
2.Development of sinkholes downstream and
upstream the dam.
3.One of the two bottom outlet gates in not
functioning since 2013.
4.Indications of settlements (USACE and
Richard Coffman, University of Arkansas ).
Globesar: settlement rate 5-10 mm/year
5.Expected flood.
Consequences
Mosul
Tikrit
Water Depth: 24 m
Time: 4 hr
Q: 405000m3
/sec
Water Depth: 4 m
Time: 38 hr
Q: 46000 m3
/sec
Water Depth: 15 m...
• Projected loss of life from dam failure 500,000 (U.S.
Embassy est. 1.47 million)
• Flood wave will destroy the infrastru...
Solution
Grouting
Mosul
Tikrit
Badush dam
Mosul Dam Crisis: The most dangerous dam in the world
Mosul Dam Crisis: The most dangerous dam in the world
Mosul Dam Crisis: The most dangerous dam in the world
Mosul Dam Crisis: The most dangerous dam in the world
Mosul Dam Crisis: The most dangerous dam in the world
Mosul Dam Crisis: The most dangerous dam in the world
Mosul Dam Crisis: The most dangerous dam in the world
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Mosul Dam Crisis: The most dangerous dam in the world

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“….in terms of internal erosion potential of the foundation, Mosul Dam is the most dangerous dam in the world… If a small problem [at] Mosul Dam occurs, failure is likely.”

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, September 2006

Presentaion - Nadhir Al-Ansari
Professor - Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Lulea University of Technology


Key Facts

The Mosul Dam provides critical irrigation, flood control, and hydropower to NW Iraq
Leaks were discovered within months of operation
U.S. Army study concludes that the dam is at a “high risk” of failure
Projected loss of life from dam failure 500,000 (U.S. Embassy est. 1.47 million)
Only permanent solution is to construct a second dam at estimated cost of $2 billion

Published in: Engineering
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Mosul Dam Crisis: The most dangerous dam in the world

  1. 1. Mosul Dam: The most dangerous dam in the world. OVERVIEW Nadhir Al-Ansari Professor, Lulea University of Technology, Sweden Member of the Iraqi Forum for Intellectuals and Academics
  2. 2. Tigris River Mosul reservoir reservoir Spillway Mosul dam site North Al-Jazeera pumping station Hydropower generation
  3. 3. Mosul Dam Scheme
  4. 4. Mosul dam project (1986) Main spillway
  5. 5. Mosul Dam is one of the biggest water projects in Iraq. Purpose •Flood control •Irrigation of area (2500ha projected)directly from Mosul Reservoir and 750000ha from dam releases at middle and south Iraq. •Hydropower generation(4 turbines with total generating capacity of 750 MW) + 300 MW (Pump storage and Reregulating Dam).
  6. 6. • The total volume of material for the embankment is reported to be around 37.7 million m3 • The upstream and downstream embankment slopes are inclined 2.5:1 (horizontal: vertical) below El. 330 m, which is the normal high operating pool level. • Above El. 330 meters, both slopes are inclined at 1.73:1.
  7. 7. Total Storage Capacity 11.11km3 Live Storage 8.16km3 Dead Storage 2.95km3
  8. 8.  Geotechnical • Site selection • Foundation Problems
  9. 9. Karstified limestone and gypsum in the foundations of the dam
  10. 10. Solution crack
  11. 11. Sinkhole under a concrete pavement
  12. 12. Soil failure in a village on left abutment
  13. 13. Upstream right abutment, open fissure resulting from slab slide
  14. 14. Sinkholes and Dissolution Phenomena In March 2002 a large dissolution tunnel was discovered in a gypsum/ anhydrite layer in the right bank of the reservoir . The height of the cave was 1.3 meters with a floor level of 315 compared to 330. which was the maximum operation water level
  15. 15. Seepage from left abutment (photos taken in 2003) The situation was stable with continuing dissolution . Discharge showed strong correlation with reservoir water level
  16. 16. Sinkholes and Dissolution Phenomena The existence of (Wadi Dermalih) under ground aquifer was established during the construction of the underground caverns and tailrace tunnel of the PS scheme . The excavation of the caverns was only possible after completing grout shields and drainage tunnels around them. This photo shows the huge spring which had erupted from a gypsum- breccias layer during the tailrace tunnel excavation . A great amount of grouting was done to plug this spring
  17. 17. The Reservoir W. A - 380 Km2
  18. 18. Boat path
  19. 19. Mosul reservoir boundary at 300 m a.s.l Areas of sedimentation
  20. 20. Why we are worried now?
  21. 21. 1.Continuous seepage: It seems that the seepage is increasing in 2015 (USACE)
  22. 22. 2.Development of sinkholes downstream and upstream the dam.
  23. 23. 3.One of the two bottom outlet gates in not functioning since 2013.
  24. 24. 4.Indications of settlements (USACE and Richard Coffman, University of Arkansas ).
  25. 25. Globesar: settlement rate 5-10 mm/year
  26. 26. 5.Expected flood.
  27. 27. Consequences
  28. 28. Mosul Tikrit Water Depth: 24 m Time: 4 hr Q: 405000m3 /sec Water Depth: 4 m Time: 38 hr Q: 46000 m3 /sec Water Depth: 15 m Time: 22 hr Q: 185000 m3 /sec
  29. 29. • Projected loss of life from dam failure 500,000 (U.S. Embassy est. 1.47 million) • Flood wave will destroy the infrastructure of the cities on both banks of the River Tigris downstream the dam to Baghdad.
  30. 30. Solution Grouting
  31. 31. Mosul Tikrit Badush dam

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