Hydraulic Engineering of Dams  book cover
1st Edition

Hydraulic Engineering of Dams

ISBN 9780203771433
Published November 5, 2020 by CRC Press
1080 Pages

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Book Description

Hydraulic engineering of dams and their appurtenant structures counts among the essential tasks to successfully design safe water-retaining reservoirs for hydroelectric power generation, flood retention, and irrigation and water supply demands. In view of climate change, especially dams and reservoirs, among other water infrastructure, will and have to play an even more important role than in the past as part of necessary mitigation and adaptation measures to satisfy vital needs in water supply, renewable energy and food worldwide as expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

This book deals with the major hydraulic aspects of dam engineering considering recent developments in research and construction, namely overflow, conveyance and dissipations structures of spillways, river diversion facilities during construction, bottom and low-level outlets as well as intake structures. Furthermore, the book covers reservoir sedimentation, impulse waves and dambreak waves, which are relevant topics in view of sustainable and safe operation of reservoirs.

The book is richly illustrated with photographs, highlighting the various appurtenant structures of dams addressed in the book chapters, as well as figures and diagrams showing important relations among the governing parameters of a certain phenomenon. An extensive literature review along with an updated bibliography complete this book.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction
1.1 Definition and purposes of dams
1.2 Worldwide importance of dams and reservoirs
1.3 Historical overview and challenges of dam engineering
1.4 Dams as critical water infrastructures
1.5 Safe operation of dams and reservoirs through advanced dam safety concepts: example of Switzerland
1.6 Appurtenant structures of dams
1.7 Hydraulic engineering of dams: structure of the book

2 Frontal crest overflow
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Frontal overflow
2.3 Additional weir effects
2.4 Scale effects

3 Spatial crest overflow
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Side channel
3.3 Morning glory overfall
3.4 Labyrinth weir
3.5 Piano key weir
3.6 Siphon

4 Spillway chute
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Smooth chute
4.3 Uniform-aerated chute flow
4.4 Chute aerator
4.5 Shock waves
4.6 Roll waves
4.7 Stepped chute

5 Dissipation structures
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Hydraulic jump
5.3 Stilling basins
5.4 Drop structures
5.5 Free fall outlets

6 Ski jump and plunge pool
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Ski jump
6.3 Flip bucket
6.4 Granular scour
6.5 Rock scour

7 River diversion structures
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Diversion tunnel
7.3 River diversion
7.4 Culvert
7.5 Pier and abutment scour

8 Intakes and outlets
8.1 Introduction
8.2 High submergence intakes
8.3 Low submergence intakes
8.4 Practical aspects
8.5 Gate flow
8.6 Low-level outlet

9 Reservoir sedimentation
9.1 Involved processes and sustainable reservoir use
9.2 Sedimentation rate and sediment distribution
9.3 Evolution of knowledge and management competence
9.4 Measures against reservoir sedimentation
9.5 Sediment bypass tunnel
9.6 Turbidity currents
9.7 Sedimentation control
9.8 Secondary hydraulic effects

10 Impulse waves in reservoirs
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Fundamental approaches
10.3 2D impulse wave generation and propagation
10.4 Impulse wave types
10.5 Transformation of solitary wave to overland flow
10.6 Underwater deposition features
10.7 Rigid dam overtopping
10.8 Erodable dam overtopping
10.9 Spatial impulse waves

11 Dam breach
11.1 Introduction
11.2 Empirical breach data
11.3 Progressive 2D breach
11.4 Fuse plug
11.5 Instantaneous 2D breach

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    Willi H. Hager has been Emeritus Professor at ETH Zurich since 2016. He gained both his engineering Diploma (1976) and his PhD title (1982) from ETH Zurich. After 6 years as post-doc research engineer at EPF Lausanne, he in 1989 returned to VAW, ETH Zurich as research head. He obtained there in 1994 the title Privat-Docent, and in 1998 the professor title. During his career, he was interested in researches on hydraulics, hydraulic structures, wastewater hydraulics, high-speed flows, erosion and scour, impulse waves, and dike overtopping. He in addition took interest in the history of hydraulics. He has published/edited dozens of book in the above topics, and hundreds of peer-reviewed journal papers. He was awarded, among other, the Ippen Award and Honorary Membership (both from IAHR), the Best Technical Note Award and the Hydraulic Structures Medal (both from ASCE).

    Anton J. Schleiss graduated in Civil Engineering from ETH in Zurich, Switzerland and obtained a PhD on the pressure tunnel design. He worked for 11 years with an International Engineering Consulting Company in Zurich and was involved in the design of many hydro projects around the world as an expert in hydraulic engineering and project manager. In 1997, he was nominated full professor and director of the Laboratory of Hydraulic Constructions, EPFL. Until he became honorary professor in 2018, he supervised more than 50 PhD and Postdoc research projects in the field of water infrastructure. He was listed in 2011 among the 20 international personalities that "have made the biggest difference to the sector Water Power & Dam Construction over the last 10 years". For his outstanding contributions to advance the art and science of hydraulic structures engineering he obtained in 2015 the ASCE-EWRI Hydraulic Structures Medal. After having served as vice-president between 2012 and 2015, he was president of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) from 2015 to 2018. With more than 40 years of experience he is regularly involved as an expert in large water infrastructure projects including hydropower and dams all over the world.

    Robert Boes studied civil engineering in Germany and France, graduating from the Technical University of Munich in 1996. He then became a research engineer at ETH Zurich (Switzerland), obtaining a Doctorate in hydraulic engineering in 2000. After a postdoctoral research period at ETH Zurich, he joined in 2002 the Hydro Engineering Department of the Tyrolean Utility TIWAG in Innsbruck, Austria, where he was involved in various projects relating to hydropower schemes, hydraulics and flood protection and became head of the Dam Construction Group. In 2009, he was appointed Professor for Hydraulic Structures at ETH Zurich, where he directs the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW). He is vice-president of the Swiss National Committee on Dams and a board member of the Swiss Association for Water Resources Management, and the Energy Science Council at ETH Zurich. He is work package leader "Hydropower" of the Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research – Supply of Electricity, and is involved with dam and flood protection projects in Switzerland and abroad. His research interests are mainly related to dam hydraulics and dam safety, reservoir sedimentation, impulse waves, hydropower & environment, sediment monitoring, hydro-abrasive wear of hydraulic structures and machinery, and flood protection.

    Michael Pfister graduated in Civil Engineering from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, in 2002. He then joined the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW) at ETH Zurich. In 2007, he obtained a Doctorate in Sciences. In 2010, he joined the Laboratory of Hydraulic Constructions (LCH) of EPFL, Switzerland, as a Research and Teaching Associate. There, he initiated research axes and advised PhD students, was a Lecturer and a project manager for hydropower-related model studies. The Haute école d'ingénierie et d'architecture Fribourg (HEIA-FR, HES-SO), Switzerland, appointed him in 2016 as Professor for Hydraulic Engineering. During his activities, Michael was responsible for research projects on high-speed two-phase flows, on Piano Key weirs, on urban drainage structures, and on wave dynamics. Physical modelling was the main approach for many of his research issues. He was active in consulting and supervised several applied physical model studies conducted for dam owners. Michael has published dozens of peer-reviewed journal papers and served as editor of several books in the above-mentioned topics. He is a member of various national and international committees and associations.


    This book is a significant extension of Dam Hydraulics by Daniel L. Vischer and Willi H. Hager with three experts replacing their retired teacher, tutor and colleague Professor Vischer, to whom this work is dedicated. Many new topics and extensive chapters on hydraulic engineering are included to reflect the new developments and findings from the last two decades. […]

    These 11 chapters are all self-contained, with their own notation and extensive bibliographies for further reading next to the cited publications. Each chapter starts with beautiful and impressive photographs in colour and all illustrations in the book are well presented and uniformly formatted. The volume also includes extensive subject and author indices, so it is convenient to be used as a reference book, both to refresh old knowledge and to obtain new information. […] This well-written and comprehensive book is one of the few currently available on the market on dam hydraulics and engineering. It meets the needs of both academics and practising hydraulic engineers, with many useful case studies, design guidance and summaries of research findings.


    In summary, this is the most comprehensive and up-to-date book on the hydraulic engineering of dams currently on the market. It is highly recommended to postgraduate students, researchers, academics and practising hydraulic engineers working on the design of the appurtenant structures of dams, as well as in related fields such as open channel flows and hydraulic structures. This book promises to be an inspiration for many current and future researchers and practitioners in hydraulics and hydraulic engineering.

    Valentin Heller, Book review. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Water Management, https://doi.org/10.1680/jwama.21.00054

    […] This book is the outcome of the wealth of experience and expertise of its authors, all of whom are eminent engineers, having been involved in hydraulics and hydraulic engineering of dams, encompassing design, research and experimentation at various stages.

    The book is designed to cover all of the appurtenant structures of the dam such as spillways, inlet and outlet structures, conveyance and control structures and energy dissipation structures. Other allied issues such as air entrainment, cavitation and vibration, problems of intake like vortex formation and floating debris, gates and scour and deposition have been suitably connected to the main issues. Other topics such as diversion during construction, reservoir sedimentation and dam breaks and impulse waves have also been discussed.


    This 1000+ page volume is indeed a valuable addition to the current literature on dams and allied topics. It endeavours to achieve a state of completeness in terms of contents of the subject, aiming to bring in the latest and the most recent developments. Another feature is the exhaustive list of references and topic wise bibliography, which will prove to be helpful to all concerned, students, designers and practising engineers alike. Colour photographs of various dam structures in operation add beauty of the publication. […] No doubt, the book will continue for long to be an essential guide for all concerned with hydraulic engineering of dams.

    R.M. Khatsuria, Book Review. ISH-NEWS (ISSN 0971-5002), The Indian Society for Hydraulics, Vol. 30 No. 1, July 2021, pp. 11-12.