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Breaches in Earthen dams [tensiometer/piezometer sensor set]

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1 Author(s)

Unless it is properly drained, the phreatic (or groundwater) surface can extend all the way through a dam and seep out the bottom of the downstream slope, or toe. Since the earth below this surface is saturated under hydraulic pressure, any structural weakness could cause a leak. A breach failure could quickly follow. The author explains how a tensiometer/piezometer sensor set installed in a dam, could provide signatures for failure events from some future catalog of engineered dam failures.

Published in:

Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 2 )