An international team of engineers experienced in the design of concrete dams was assembled to prepare a report presenting a practical, step by step process for the evaluation of cracking in concrete dams, as well as the determination of the appropriate steps to be taken to address any issues identified by this process and establish/carry out a crack management program for the dam. The report draws upon both the team’s considerable years of experience and publications issued by the ICOLD (International Commission on Large Dams) and USSD (United States Society of Dams) committees on Concrete Dams and Computational Aspects of Analysis of Concrete Dams. A number of examples of cracked concrete dams, including CVC and RCC gravity, arch and buttress dams, and the Potential Failure Mode Analysis (PFMA) program that was implemented U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to categorize risks, are provided as background information. A review of the root causes of cracks in these dams due to a range of common mechanisms is provided. Also included are references to two incidents databases: the FERC preliminary listing of known dam failures and listings from Coyne and Bellier of Paris.
Keywords: Concrete, Dams, Cracks, Detection, Causes, Monitoring, Analysis, Remediation, Management, Risks.