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Design, Construction, Monitoring and Modelling of Albagés Earth Dam: A Case History


A zoned earth dam 40 m high is analysed and modelled using a numerical code able to deal with unsaturated–saturated soils and the coupled hydro-mechanical phenomena. The paper discusses the selection of the materials for the design of the dam. The dam construction was modelled at the design stage (a type “A” calculation) and results are compared with actual measurements registered during construction until the time when the dam reached two-thirds of the total final height. The limitations of the type A model are discussed and an updated model is presented taking into account compaction data and field tests performed during construction.

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The first author acknowledges the financial support to CIMNE by the CERCA Programme/Generalitat de Catalunya and the fellowship IJCI-2015-26342 from the Spanish government. Thanks are extended to Eng. Miguel Alonso and to the dam construction Director, Eng. J. M. Serra.


The Construction Company Dragados SA (ACS Group) financed the work reported in this paper.

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Correspondence to Eduardo E. Alonso.

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Pinyol, N.M., Alonso, E.E. Design, Construction, Monitoring and Modelling of Albagés Earth Dam: A Case History. Int J Civ Eng 17, 501–513 (2019).

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  • Earth dam
  • Unsaturated soils
  • Compaction conditions
  • Numerical modelling
  • Real case