Internal Erosion of Existing Dams, Levees and Dikes, and their Foundations

Internal erosion is one of the major causes of embankment dam failure.

When constructing new dams, protection against internal erosion is provided by zoning and by providing filters. However, many existing dams are not adequately zoned and do not have filters and may therefore be vulnerable to internal erosion. Others have filters not designed and/or constructed to modern standards, they too may be vulnerable to internal erosion.

The Bulletin is in two volumes. Volume 1 deals predominantly with internal erosion processes and the engineering assessment of the vulnerability of a dam to failure or damage by internal erosion, with a brief oversight of monitoring for and detection of internal erosion and remediation to protect dams against internal erosion. It includes a comprehensive listing of the Terminology used in internal erosion. Many references are also given, including links to many from an ICOLD internal erosion webpage.

Volume 2 gives more details of internal erosion investigations, and appropriate testing, monitoring and detection, and remediation, and gives case histories.