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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Vegetal Maintenance for Dam Safety

Author
item Temple, Darrel

Submitted to: National Watershed Conference National Watershed Coalition
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 10, 2003
Publication Date: January 28, 2004
Citation: Temple, D.M. 2004. Vegetal maintenance for dam safety. In: Proceedings of the 8th National Watershed Coalition Conference. National Watershed Coalition. Council Bluffs, Iowa. 2004 CDROM.

Technical Abstract: Many of the existing watershed flood control dams utilize grass-lined earth auxiliary spillways to safely convey the water around the dam during extreme flood events. For more than 50 years, these spillways have proven effective. Recent research efforts have improved procedures for predicting auxiliary spillway performance and provided new criteria for their design. Research is continuing to expand this technology for application to prediction of the performance of vegetated earth embankments overtopped during extreme flood events. This research and the quantification of the associated erosion processes reveals that maintenance of the vegetal cover on the dam face and/or spillway may play a crucial role in protecting the dam from breach during extreme flood events. This vegetal maintenance combined with appropriate maintenance of the principal spillway inlet and outlet can improve the overall safety of the dam and reduce damage associated with extreme floods. To help dam owners and managers understand the importance of this type of maintenance and to recognize conditions that increase the risk of damage, the Agricultural Research Service and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission have prepared a video documenting the associated processes as observed in the field and laboratory. This report provides additional documentation and makes potential users aware of the availability of the informational video.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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