Analysis of Concrete Arch Dams: On-Demand

The purpose of this course is to provide a brief introduction into the science of concrete arch dams. The review will touch on design methods used in the past, but primarily focus on the methods used in the current state of the practice. A historical review of construction techniques will be discussed, and how that relates to evaluations and the physical behavior of the structures. The basic loads and loading conditions used for analysis will be explained, as well of techniques that can be used to validate analysis models.

Guy S. Lund, P.E.

Principal Engineer, Gannett Fleming, Inc.

Guy S. Lund has over 35 years of experience in dam safety, design, including hydraulic and structural design of spillways, outlet works, and appurtenant structures, comprehensive structural analyses of concrete dams (static and dynamic analyses utilizing both linear and non-linear methodologies), field investigations, and construction.  Mr. Lund began his career with the Bureau of Reclamation, in the concrete dams, spillways and outlet works section where he worked as a design engineer on numerous spillways, water conveyance systems, and outlet works.  For the past 30 years Mr. Lund has gained experience in the design, analysis, and evaluation of all types of mass concrete dams.  He has focused on the understanding and evaluation of structural concrete dams, using both linear and non-linear finite element methods of analyses.  


  • 1)Arch Dams – Geometry & Basic Concepts
  • 2)Construction Methods
    • A)Horizontal Construction
    • B)Vertical Block Construction
    • C)Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC)
  • 3)Methods of Analysis
    • A)Old and True: Trial Load Methods
    • B)Finite Element Analysis
    • C)Others
  • 4)Evaluation Tools
    • A)Standard Evaluation Criteria
      • i)U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
        • (1)Design of Arch Dams,
        • (2)Engineering Monograph No. 19,
        • (3)Engineering Monograph No. 34
      • ii)U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
        • (1)EM 1110-2-2201 Arch Dam Design
      • iii)FERC
        • (1)Chapter 11, Arch Dam Guidelines
    • B)Thermal Analysis
      • i)Spreadsheets
      • ii)Finite element analysis
    • C)Linear vs. Nonlinear Analysis
      • i)Linear typically assumes homogeneous, monolithic behavior
      • ii)Nonlinear usually limited to structural, or geometric, nonlinearities such as joints, cracks.  Most of the time material property is assumed to behavior linearly.
    • D)Engineering Geology
      • i)Stereonets useful to evaluate rock block stability
  • 5)Performing the Analysis
    • A)Model Development
    • B)Static Loads
      • i)Gravity
      • ii)Temperatures
      • iii)Reservoir, Sedimentation, Tailwater
      • iv)Dynamic Loads
        • (1)Hydrodynamic Interaction
        • (2)Seismic ground motions
  • 6)Potential Failure Modes
    • A)Overstressing
    • B)Stability
      • i)Overturning is not evaluated
      • ii)Sliding along Interface
      • iii)Rock Block Stability
      • iv)Overtopping and Erosion
  • 7)Analysis Example
    • A)Preparing the Model
    • B)Thermal Analysis
    • C)Static Analysis
    • D)Dynamic Analysis


On- Demand Webinar
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Post Survey
5 Questions
5 Questions Post Survey
Completion Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  6/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  6/10 points to pass
Completion Certificate
2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available
2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available