Rockfill in its various forms—dumped, compacted in layers, hand-placed cobbles and masonry, equipment-placed masonry, and wet masonry—has been known since ancient times as a useful, reliable, and durable construction material. Progressing from low, hand-placed walls that have endured for centuries around farmlands, to the base courses and cobble pavements of ancient roads of similar longevity, and then in the midto late 1800s to rock dams of modest size in California, Europe, and North Africa, followed in the 1900s by even larger rockfill dams worldwide, high rockfill dams have become recognized for their safety, adaptability to widely varying site conditions, practicality of construction, and economy. Many papers have been published, testifying to their value and widespread use. Cooke1 in his Terzaghi Lecture, provided the collective experience to 1984. In his chapter on the “Design of Rockfill Dams,” Taylor3 listed 160 papers covering most aspects of the subject. Bureau et al.36 listed 47 papers on seismic analysis alone.


Shear Strength Friction Angle Core Zone Rock Particle Rockfill Material 
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General References

  1. 1.
    Cooke, J. B., “Eighteenth Terzaghi Lecture,” ASCE J. Geotech., Oct. 1984.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Marsal, R. J., “Large Scale Triax. Tests,” ASCE Conf., Miami, Jan. 1966.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Taylor, K. V., “Design of Rockfill Dams,” in Handbook of Dam Engineering, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1977.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Various (23 authors), “Symp. on Rockfill Dams,” Trans. ASCE, 1960.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Various (37 authors), Concrete Face Rockfill Dams-Design, Construction, and Performance, ASCE, Detroit, 1985.Google Scholar

Shear Strength of Rockfill

  1. 6.
    Hall, E. B., “Isabella Dam Shear Tests,” 1948 (q. granite, 4/1).Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    USBR, “Shear Testing, Gravelly Soils,” 1953 (gravels, 3/#200).Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    Holtz, W. G., and Gibbs, H. J., “Shear Char., Gravelly Soils,” 1954 (gravels, 3/#200).Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Hall, E. B., and Gordon, B. B., “Triax. Testing, Large Scale,” 1963 (dredger tailings, 3/#200).Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Leps, T. M., “Round Butte Rockfill,” 1964 (q. basalt, none).Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    Marsal, R. J., Moreno Gomez, E., Nunez, G., Cuellar, B. R., and Moreno Ramos, R., “Behavior of Granular Matls. and Rockfill,” 1965 (various, 8/2 mm).Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    Marsal, R. J., “Mica Dam Triax. Test,” 1965 (q. granite, gneiss, \( 8/1\frac{1}{2} \)).Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    Casagrande, A., “Hohe Staudamme” (Commun. No. 6, Tech. Hohschule, Vienna), 1965 (no data).Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    Banks, D. C, and Maclver, B. N., “Variation of Angle of Internal Friction with Confining Pressure,” 1969 (various by others, 8 to 1/0.01).Google Scholar
  10. 15.
    Marachi, N. D., Chan, C. K., Seed, H. B., and Duncan, J. M., “Strength and Deformation Char, of Rockfill Materials,” 1969 (pyr. q. argillite, crushed basalt, Oro. dredger tailings, 6, 2 and \( \frac{1}{2} \) /#200).Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    Leps, T. M., “Review of Shearing Strength of Rockfill,” 1970 (various, 8/2 mm).Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    Becker, E., Chan, C. K., and Seed, H. B., “Strength RF, Plane Strain and Triax.,” 1972 (argillite, sandstone, 6, 2 and \( \frac{1}{2} \)/#200).Google Scholar
  13. 18.
    Marsal, R. J., “Mech. Properties of RF,” in Embankment-Dam Engineering, Wiley, New York, 1973 (various, various).Google Scholar
  14. 19.
    Barton, N. and Kjaernsli, B., “Shear Strength of Rockfill,” 1981 (various, various).Google Scholar
  15. 20.
    Lon, J. K., and Taylor, H., “Revelstoke Zone 6 Triax. Tests,” 1982 (gravel, \( 1\frac{1}{2} \)/#200).Google Scholar

Stability Analysis of Rockfill

  1. 21.
    Newmark, N. M., “Effects of Earthquakes on Dams and Embankments,” Géotechnique, No. 15, 1965.Google Scholar
  2. 22.
    Arya, A. S., et al., “Some Aspects of Aseismic Design of Rockfill Dams,” 6th World Conf. on E. E., New Delhi, 1977.Google Scholar
  3. 23.
    Okamoto, S., Tamura, C, Ohmachi, T., and Kato, K., “Study of Effects of Berm on the Stability of RF Dams during EQ,” 6th World Conf. on E.E., New Delhi, 1977.Google Scholar
  4. 24.
    Takahasi, T., Sawada, Y., Kokusho, T., and Kunii, K., “Study of Dynamic Behaviors of Rockfill Dams,” 6th World Conf. on E.E., New Delhi, 1977.Google Scholar
  5. 25.
    Makdisi, F. I., and Seed H. B., “Simplified Procedure for Estimating Dam and Emb. EQ Induced Deformations,” ASCE J. Geotech. Eng., July 1978.Google Scholar
  6. 26.
    Castro, G., “Report on Dynamic Analysis of La Fortuna Dam,” Geotechnical Engrs. Inc., 1979.Google Scholar
  7. 27.
    Prater, E. G., and Studer, J., “Some Considerations on the Seismic Behavior of Rockfill Dams,” Q.51, R.17, Thirteenth Congress on Large Dams, 1979.Google Scholar
  8. 28.
    Bossonet, C, and Dungar, R., “Past Experience and Future Demands Related to Dynamic Analysis of Soil and Rockfill Structures and Fdns.,” Intl. Symp. on Soils under Cyclic and Trans. Ldg., Swansea, G. B., 1980.Google Scholar
  9. 29.
    Yanagisawa, E., and Fukui, T., “Performance of Taramizu Rockfill Dam during Strong EQ,” 7th World Conf. on EQ Eng., Istanbul, 1980.Google Scholar
  10. 30.
    Nose, M., and Baba, K., “Dynamic Behavior of RF Dams,” ICE Dams and EQ Conf., London, 1981.Google Scholar
  11. 31.
    Von Thun, L., and Harris, C. W., “Est. of Displace, of RF Dams, Seis. Shak.,” Intl. Conf., Recent Advances, St. Louis, 1981.Google Scholar
  12. 32.
    Vrymoed, J., “Dyn. FEM Model of Oroville Dam,” ASCE J. Geotech., Aug. 1981.Google Scholar
  13. 33.
    Nuti, C, and Pinto, P. E., “Seismic Risk Anal, of RF Dams,” 3rd Int. Conf. of MicroZone, Seattle, WA, 1982.Google Scholar
  14. 34.
    Ghuboussi, J., and Hendron, A. J., “Seismic Dam Forces on Rock Slopes,” ASCE J. Geotech. Eng., Aug. 1984.Google Scholar
  15. 35.
    Seed, H. B., Seed, R. B., Lai, S. S., and Khamenehpour, G., “Seismic Design of CF RF Dams,” ASCE “Cone. Face RF Dams” Symp., 1985.Google Scholar
  16. 36.
    Bureau, G., Volpe, R. L., Roth, W. H., and Udaka, T., “Seismic Analysis of CF RF Dams,” ASCE “Cone. Face RF Dams” Symp., 1985.Google Scholar

Specialty References

  1. 37.
    Weiss, A., “Constr. Technique of Passing Floods over Earth Dams,” ASCE Trans., 1951.Google Scholar
  2. 38.
    Wilkins, J. K., “Flow of Water through RF and Its Applic. to Design of Dams,” Proc. 2nd Aus.-N.Z. Soils Conf., 1956.Google Scholar
  3. 39.
    Parkin, A. K., “Rockfill Dams with Inbuilt Spillways,” Water Research, Aus., B. #6, 1963.Google Scholar
  4. 40.
    Shackelford, B. W., Leps, T. M., and Schumann, J. E., “Design, Construction and Performance of Pit 7 Afterbay Dam,” 10th ICOLD, Montreal, 1970.Google Scholar
  5. 41.
    Johnson, H. A., “Flow through Rockfill Dam,” ASCE J. Geotech., Feb. 1971.Google Scholar
  6. 42.
    Leps, T. M., “Flow through Rockfill,” in Embankment-Dam Engineering, Wiley, New York, 1973.Google Scholar
  7. 43.
    Good, R. J., Bain, D. L. W., and Parsons, A. M., “Weak Rock in Two RF Dams,” CF Rockfill Symp., ASCE, 1985.Google Scholar
  8. 44.
    Mackenzie, P. R., and McDonald, L. A., “Mangrove Cr. Dam: Soft Rock,” CF Rockfill Symp., ASCE, 1985.Google Scholar

Design, Construction, and Performance

  1. 45.
    Varty, A., Boyle, R. J., Pritchard, E. D., and Gill, R. E., “Constr. of CF Rockfill Dams,” CF Rockfill Symp., ASCE, 1985.Google Scholar
  2. 46.
    Hacelas, J. E., Ramirez, C. A., and Regalado, G., “Const, and Perform., Salvajina Dam,” CF Rockfill Symp., ASCE, 1985.Google Scholar
  3. 47.
    Pinto, N. L. de S., Marques Filho, P. L., and Maurer, E., “Design, Const, and Behavior, Foz do Areia,” CF Rockfill Symp., ASCE, 1985.Google Scholar
  4. 48.
    Dascal, O., “Outardes 2 CF Rockfill Dam,” CF Rockfill Symp., ASCE, 1985.Google Scholar
  5. 49.
    Materon, B., “Const, of Foz do Areia Dam,” CF Rockfill Symp., ASCE, 1985.Google Scholar

Rockfill Dam Design and Analysis

  1. 50.
    Bertram, G. E., “Field Tests for Compacted Rockfill,” in Embankment-Dam Engineering, Wiley, New York, 1973.Google Scholar
  2. 51.
    Sierra, J. M., Ramirez, CA., and Hacelas, J. E., “Design Features of Salvajina Dam,” CF Rockfill Symp., ASCE, 1985.Google Scholar
  3. 52.
    Sultan, H. A., and Seed, H. B., “Stability of Sloping Core Earth Dams,” ASCE J. SMFDDiv., 1967.Google Scholar
  4. 53.
    Leps, T. M., and Jansen, R. B., “Proposed Guidelines for Dam Seismic Stability Assessment,” USCOLD Newsletter, Nov. 1984.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Van Nostrand Reinhold 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas M. Leps
    • 1
  1. 1.Thomas M. Leps, Inc.Menlo ParkUSA

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