In the course of the past hundred years, modern structures of embankment
dams for water reservoirs and hydropower plants emerged from a continu-
ally evolving fundamental basis consisting of extensive knowledge about
soil and rock mechanics, constructional engineering and calculating proce-
dures. This fundamental basis is treated in the literature by means of special-
ist articles which reach an immense number of publications.
This book was written to consider and treat all specialist fields and
peripheral know-how, and its most important goal has been reached, as this
knowledge is an indispensable requirement for each engineer specializing in
dam design and construction. It offers the necessary technical basis to both
the young student engineer and the experienced expert to pursue further un-
dertakings. It may be emphasized that the topics are described in an easy,
comprehensible, and extensive way.
In many regions world-wide, the tremendous increase in population re-
quires further construction of dams in order to safeguard basic living condi-
tions with regard to energy and nutrition, Due to restricted habitat space and
scarce resources, nowadays it has become imperative that essential provi-
sions, such as sufficient water supply, shall be guaranteed for the following
generations. This leads to the conclusion that dam construction has become
indispensable. Existing dams need to be kept safe from the operational point
The German Committee on Large Dams (DTK, ‘Deutsches Taksperren-
Komitee’) being a member of the most significant international dam con-
struction forum, the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), has
taken up the task of transmitting to experts from all over the world any dis-
covery, experience and know-how gained by professional German dam en-
gineers. They shall even introduce norms, guidelines and recommendations.
This book achieves this aim in a convincing way. Because of the stand-
ards requiring the highest technical leveks, it is the conviction of DTK that
this book makes a German contribution to international evolution in the dam
This text methodically demonstrates the basic rules for the design criteria of earthfill and rockfill dams. It expertly guides the reader from preliminary work through the design of various embankment dams and on to the construction and finally the control of safety in completed structures.