Rockfill dams are very widely constructed all over the world due to their good adaptability to diverse geological and geographical conditions, and their relatively low cost compared to other dam types. However, natural satisfactory sites are increasingly difficult to find in many countries due to past dam development. In some circumstance, building dams over thick overburden layers is unavoidable. In this chapter, Chinese practices in constructing high earth and rockfill dams over thick overburden layers are reviewed. The geological and geotechnical investigation techniques are briefly summarized, and seepage control systems of some selected cases as well as the connection of the impervious systems of both the dams and their foundation layers are described. Commonly used foundation improvement techniques are also presented, followed by simple descriptions of aspects that require further research and development.
Part of the book: Dam Engineering