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The Roosevelt Dam is an arch dam completed in 1911 and modified in 1996 (shown). The original design was the highest masonry dam ever constructed.

An arch dam is a thin, curved concrete or masonry dam structure which is built to curve upstream so that the force of the water against it squeezes the arch, compressing and strengthening the structure and pushing it into the ground. An arch dam is a good dam type for a narrow gorge in a mountainous area with steep walls of rock.[1]

An arch dam generally has steel rods or prestressed steel cables reinforcements and therefore requires less concrete than does a gravity dam or arch-gravity dam. However, the bedrock in the foundation and abutments must be sound to withstand the pressure of the water.[2]

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Variations

Idukki Dam, Kerala, India The Largest Arch dam in Asia and Second largest in World
Gordon Dam, Tasmania is an asymmetrical double curved dam

Arch dams with more than one contiguous arch or plane are described as multiple arch dams. A double arch dam has two contiguous arches. A dam that is curved in both its horizontal and vertical planes may be called a dome dam.[2]

The highest arch dam in the world is Inguri Dam in Georgia. It is 272 meters high and it was completed in 1980.[3]

The longest multiple arch with buttress dam in the world is the Daniel-Johnson Dam in Québec, Canada. It is 214 m high and 1 314 meters long at the top. It was completed in 1968 and put in service in 1970.[4]

Examples of arch dams

Daniel-Johnson Dam, Québec, Canada is a multiple arch dam with buttress

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