Investigate A Dam Disaster

Investigate ONE dam disaster that occurred due to the geologic setting in which it was constructed.  Write in less one page a discussion describing the disaster and the lessons learned from it.  Be sure to address each of the following:

 

  1. In a few sentences describe the basic details of the dam (e.g. height, width at base, width at crest, material with which it was constructed) and the purpose of construction.
  2. In a few sentences, describe how the dam failed.What was the failure mechanism? Were people killed? Was there property damage?
  3. In a paragraph, describe the geologic setting:
  4. What type of rock was the dam constructed on (igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary?)
  5. Were there any features in the geologic formations that controlled construction or led to the failure (e.g. faults, joints, weathering, landslides)
  6. What were the lessons learned from the failure?
  7. Cite all of the web pages or other sources you used in your research.

 

A few examples of dams that failed due to geologic setting are listed below, with suggested starting points for research.  If you would like to investigate a different dam, that’s fine, as long as the disaster was due to the geologic setting (not faulty design or construction).

 

  • Baldwin Hills Dam, Los Angeles, California

o   Cool photos here: http://framework.latimes.com/2013/12/13/the-1963-baldwin-hills-dam-collapse/

o   http://web.stanford.edu/~meehan/la/pubs/pubbaldw.pdf

o   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIeNM8cm6J8

  • Teton Dam, Madison County, Idaho

o   (http://www.geol.ucsb.edu/faculty/sylvester/Teton_Dam/narrative.html)

o   http://www.history.com/topics/us-states/idaho/videos/engineering-disasters-teton-dam?m=528e394da93ae&s=undefined&f=1&free=false#

  • St Francis Dam

o   http://web.mst.edu/~rogersda/st_francis_dam/Impacts%20of%20St.%20Francis%20Dam%20Failure-compressed.pdf

o   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbGban_vx4w

  • Vajont Dam

o   http://www.landslideblog.org/2008/12/vaiont-vajont-landslide-of-1963.html

o   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_inRwdeQr0