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Dam Engineering

Dam Engineering

Designing a dam is a complex task that requires an extensive technical understanding of geotechnical, seismic, civil, hydrological, hydraulic, mechanical and structural considerations.

Covering the full range of dams for mining, water storage, power development, irrigation, and flood control, we provide tailored solutions to successfully lead our clients through all phases, from site identification through to construction monitoring and operational monitoring.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Earthfill and rockfill dams
  • Concrete-face rockfill dams
  • Concrete gravity and arch dams
  • Roller-compacted concrete dams
  • Design of appurtenant structures such as spillways and diversion channels or tunnels
  • Water-retaining and drained tailings dams constructed from mine waste materials

Specific services for dams we offer include:

  • Hazard classification
  • Inspections and dam safety reviews
  • Geotechnical site investigations
  • Hydrology and hydraulic design
  • Dam site alternative studies
  • Seismic risk assessment and stability
  • Construction QA/QC and support
  • Performance assessments
  • Instrumentation monitoring
  • Construction permitting assistance
  • As-built documentation
  • Dam design, refurbishment and rehabilitation
  • Remedial designs
  • Dam upgrades
  • Expansions for existing dam structures
  • Dam breach modeling and inundation mapping

Dam Breach Studies

Dam breach studies are an important part of the design and operation of water reservoirs and tailings storage facilities. Understanding the consequences of a dam breach ultimately leads to designing safer dams and properly preparing for emergencies.

Dam breach studies involve the selection of dam failure mechanisms, selection of appropriate hydrologic conditions, analysis of breach parameters, estimation of outflow volumes of water and/or tailings, development of breach outflow hydrographs, flood routing modelling, and inundation and flood severity mapping.

Our team has completed dam breach studies for a wide range of existing and proposed projects within the mining and hydropower industries, utilizing our extensive experience and expertise in dam breach modeling and inundation mapping. The results of such studies are used to determine the hazard classification of a dam through the assessment of dam failure consequences, to support emergency preparedness and response planning, and to inform environmental project assessments.