What is Gravity Dam and Advantages & Disadvantages Of Gravity Dam

What is Gravity Dam and Advantages & Disadvantages Of Gravity Dam

What is Gravity Dam and Advantages & Disadvantages Of Gravity Dam

What is Gravity Dam and Advantages & Disadvantages Of Gravity Dam

gravity dam can be defined as a can be solid concrete or masonry structure constructed across a river to create a reservoir on its upstream, and it is designed to hold water back by using only the weight of the used material and the dam’s resistance against the foundation to oppose the horizontal pressure of water pushing against it.

The gravity dam’s shape is triangular in shape and has an apex at its top with the maximum width at the bottom. When constructed, the section is proportioned such that it can resist the external force acting on the dam by its own weight.

This type of structure is durable and requires very little maintenance. Currently, concrete gravity dams are most prefer as compared to other dams.

One of the reasons is that they can be constructed with ease, and on any dam site where a solid rock foundation is strong enough to bear the vast weight of the dam can be found. 

Gravity Dam

A gravity dam is an essentially solid concrete structure that resists imposed forces principally by its own weight. Although usually straight in the plan, these dams are sometimes curved or angled to accommodate site topography. They are the simplest of the concrete types and the most typical to design and build.

A buttress dam is a gravity structure that, in addition to its own weight, utilizes the weight of water over the upstream face to provide stability.

Two of the most common gravity-buttress dams are the flat-slab type “and the massive-head type, both discussed in this chapter. The design and analysis of the multiple-arch type of buttress dam are closely akin to concrete arch dam design and analysis.

Gravity Dam

Usually, the base of a concrete gravity dam is equal to approximately 0.7 times the height of the dam:

base = 0.7 * height

The shape of the gravity dam resembles a triangle. This is because of the triangular distribution of water pressure. The deeper the water, the more horizontal pressure it exerts on the dam.

So at the reservoir’s surface, the water is exerting no pressure, and at the bottom of the reservoir, the water is exerting maximum pressure. The shape can vary slightly; any of these shapes can be used to simulate a gravity dam if the exact shape is unknown.

Advantages of Gravity Dam

· A gravity dam requires minimal maintenance compared to other dams.

· A Gravity dam is relatively stronger and more stable than an earth dam.

· A Gravity dam can build any height compared to an earth dam.

· Gravity dam does no fall suddenly; it gives enough indication of the fall over time, whereas earth dams generally can fail suddenly.

Gravity dam Disadvantages 

· Gravity dams can be done/built only on a solid sound rock foundation. In comparison, earth dams can be built anywhere on weak foundations or permeable foundations with good foundation treatment.

· The initial cost of building a gravity dam is always higher when compared to an earth dam.

· When mechanized plants, such as manufacturing, curing concrete, and transporting mass concrete, are not available, then the gravity dams may take more time to construct.

· A Gravity dam requires highly-skilled labor for its construction.

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