Dam Safety

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The objective of the Dam Safety research programme is to improve the technical basis required to ensure the safety of dams. In the forefront of research is the stability of dams(i.e. concrete dams, embankment dams or river weirs). The research programme also looks into the stability of foundations, abutments and mountainsides in the vicinity of reservoirs and into the adjacent safety-relevant facilities (such as spillways and outlets).

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Current research priorities

Extreme events

  • Improved assessment of the impact of flooding and earthquakes on dams
  • More exact evaluation of the behaviour of dams when exposed to extremes and assessment of the potential failure process

Ageing processes

  • Improved understanding of ageing processes (e.g., alkali-aggregate reaction)
  • Evaluation of the impact of the ageing process on the behaviour and the stability of dams
  • Development of procedures to evaluate potential remedial measures

Monitoring methods

  • Development and application of new methods for better monitoring of dams
  • Further development of analytical methods to better interpret observations

Award procedure

The SFOE is the federal supervisory authority for the safety of dams in Switzerland. In order to fulfil this task, it requires a technical basis, which it acquires by means of research contracts. The research projects are prepared in collaboration between the SFOE and the contractors.

Specialist staff
Last modification 14.09.2021

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Head of Programme

Amin Askarinejad

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