Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 305–318 | Cite as

Embankment overtopping protection systems

  • Hubert ChansonEmail author


For the last decades, the design floods of numerous embankment reservoirs were re-evaluated, and the revised spillway outflows are typically larger than those used in the original designs. As a result, a number of overtopping protection systems were developed for embankments and earthfill dams, with applications encompassing river dykes, coastal barriers for storm surge and tsunami protections. Several design techniques were developed for embankments and earthfill dams. These include concrete overtopping protection systems, timber cribs, sheet-piles, riprap and gabions, reinforced earth, minimum energy loss weirs, embankment overflow stepped spillways and the precast concrete block protection systems. Various designs are reviewed herein and discussed based upon prototype experiences. This review highlights that a safe operation of embankment overflow protection systems relies upon a sound design and a good quality of construction, suitable flow conditions, together with regular maintenance.


Design techniques Earthfill structures Embankment Overflow protection systems Prototype experience Spillways 



Minimum energy loss


Roller compacter concrete



The author thanks all the individuals and organisations who provide him with relevant informations, including Professor Colin Apelt. The author acknowledges some helpful discussion with the associate editors. The financial support of the Australian Research Council is acknowledged (Grants ARC DP0878922 & DP120100481).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil EngineeringThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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