Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

2005 Edition
| Editors: Maurice L. Schwartz

Dams, Effect on Coasts

  • Jiyu Chen
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-3880-1_108

People have constructed dams, weirs, or barriers on rivers to utilize and manage water resources for thousands of years. The utilization of water energy also has a long history, such as waterwheels and watermills, etc. The initial dams were used to control water resources and to supply water for irrigation and domestic purposes. Later, the energy of rivers was harnessed behind dams to power primary industries directly, and more recently still, hydroelectricity has been generated using water held in reservoirs, allowing the impoundment and regulation of river flow. The modern era of major dams dates from the 1930s and began in the United States with the construction of the 221 m-high Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. But in the last 50 years there has been a marked escalation in the rate and scale of construction of large dams all over the world, made possible by advances in science and technology. Some major rivers in the world have been intensively manipulated in this way.

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    Asia, Eastern, Coastal GeomorphologyGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

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  • Jiyu Chen

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