What is a Diversion Dam? Types and Features

Diversion dam is a type of dam, that is used to divert the portion of flow of a river from its natural course. A diversion dam serve the purpose of raising the eater level in order to redirect the water to the required destination.

What is a Diversion Dam?

The water diverted by means of diversion dams is used to supply irrigation systems and reservoir.

Construction of Diversion Dams

The design of diversion dams can be any of the following type:

  1. Embankment Style Dam
  2. Buttress Style Dam
  3. Arch Style Dam
  4. Gravity Style Dam

1. Embankment Style Dam


The design and construction features of embankment style dam are:
  • The weight of the dam is constructed to oppose the water pressure coming over it.
  • It is a dam made of materials available within the surrounding area of the site.
  • The materials used can be sand, gravel and rocks.
  • The materials plus the impermeable membrane like clay provide integrity to the structure.
  • The cost is less compared to other types of dams.

2. Buttress Style Diversion Dam

  • This dam is constructed using angle supports on the downstream of the dam.
  • The supports are fixed to the wall which counteracts the force of water on the dam.
  • The dam is built across the wide valleys that do not have bed rock foundation.
  • It requires extensive steel works and labor.
  • It is expensive and rarely built.

3. Arch Style Diversion Dam

  • An arch type dam have the top face arched shape.
  • The Arch shape effect counteract the force of water.
  • It is constructed in narrow cannyons.
  • It is made out of concrete.
  • Arch dams curves horizontally.

4. Gravity Style Diversion Dam

  • Gravity dam counteracts the force of water by its own weight.
  • It is constructed using masonry or cement.
  • The foundation for gravity dams are constructed over bed rock foundation.
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Anre A

I am a structural engineering professional who is passionate about researching new content in the construction industry and bringing to people around the world.

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