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Concrete Gravity Dams

Warragamba Dam. A 137m high Concrete Gravity Dam, the main water supply dam for the city of Sydney, Australia is built on a sandstone foundation. The central part of the dam is occupied by a wide spillway controlled by steel gates which can be used to regulate the amount of water released during floods. At the time this photo was taken the spillway was dewatered for inspection purposes.

Burrinjuck Dam, now 92m high, was originally built as a Concrete Gravity Dam between 1907 and 1928; later concrete buttresses were added to the downstream face and the dam crest raised 1.5m to a height of 80m as part of a strengthening and enlargement program (completed in 1953). In 1974 a major flood resulted in erosion of unweathered granite in the northern (left hand side in photo) spillway. This, in turn, destroyed the penstock to a downstream hydro-electric power station. Recently the dam has been further strengthened by the installation of post-tensioned ground anchor cables and the dam crest raised another 12m to a height of 92m. Note the 2 side channel spillways. Part of each spillway is controlled by gates (2 on LHS, 1 on RHS) while the remainder of each spillway is an uncontrolled overflow crest. Photo taken before 1974.

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