Goseeko blog

What is Earth dam?

by Team Goseeko

Earth dam- The dams which are constructed of earthen materials such as gravel, sand, silt and clay are called earthen dams. It has trapezoidal section with a top width 3 to 10 m and upstream slope of 1 V : (2.5 to 4)H downstream slopes of 1V:(2 to 3)H


  • The main types of earthen dam
  1. Homogeneous type of embankment dam
  2. Diaphragm type earthen dam
  3. Zoned type embankment dam
  • Types of dam based on method of construction:
  1. Rolled fill dam
  2. Hydraulic fill earth dam
  3. Semi hydraulic earth dam


  1. The main advantages of such a type of dam is that it can be constructed on any type of foundation strata which contains soil, gravel, earth murum, rock etc.
  2. Such dams are suitable and favorable for the sites with very wide to steep valleys.
  3. Earth dams can be constructed with the use of locally available natural material and hence cost of transport becomes less.
  4. The design of such a dam is flexible such that different types of materials can be used for its construction.
  5. There is a continuous process of construction with a highly mechanized system.


  1. An earth dam requires a supplementary structure for the spillway.
  2. There are more chances of susceptible leakage and erosion of the foundation.
  3. Dam structure can be subjected to damage because of burrowing animals.

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