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GEOREF RECORD

The formation and failure of natural dams

John E. Costa and Robert L. Schuster
The formation and failure of natural dams
Geological Society of America Bulletin (July 1988) 100 (7): 1054-1068

Abstract

Of the numerous kinds of dams that form by natural processes, dams formed from landslides, glacial ice, and late-neoglacial moraines present the greatest threat to people and property. Landslide dams form in a wide range of physiographic settings. The most common types of mass movements that form landslide dams are rock and debris avalanches; rock and soil slumps and slides; and mud, debris, and earth flows. The most common initiation mechanisms for dam-forming landslides are excessive rainfall and snowmelt and earthquakes. Natural dams may cause upstream flooding as the lake rises and downstream flooding as a result of failure of the dam. Although data are few, for the same potential energy at the dam site, downstream flood peaks from the failure of glacier-ice dams are smaller than those from landslide, moraine, and constructed earth-fill and rock-fill dam failures. Moraine-dam failures appear to produce some of the largest downstream flood peaks for potential energy at the dam site greater than 10 (super 11) -10 (super 12) joules. Differences in flood peaks of natural-dam failures appear to be controlled by dam characteristics and failure mechanisms.--Modified journal abstract.


ISSN: 0016-7606
EISSN: 1943-2674
Coden: BUGMAF
Serial Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Serial Volume: 100
Serial Issue: 7
Title: The formation and failure of natural dams
Affiliation: U. S. Geol. Surv., Vancouver, WA, United States
Pages: 1054-1068
Published: 198807
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 122
Accession Number: 1988-046777
Categories: GeomorphologyEngineering geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 7 tables
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 1988
Program Name: USGSOPNon-USGS publications with USGS authors
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