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Geology Exemplified at Its Worst

Reader comment on item: Saddam's Damn Dam [i.e., The Mosul Dam]

Submitted by Christopher J. Schuberth (United States), Nov 8, 2007 at 22:23

First, how can a major dam be built on the rock foundation consisting principally of highly soluble, evaporite minerals, whether gypsum, anhydrite, halite, or a combination of all? Civil engineers can compensate for these structurally poor foundation materials, but apparently such had not been done here. Why not?

In reality of this situation, grouting is a permanent and unending requirement as grout gradually replaces the soluble materials. Second, gradually drain the reservoir at a discharge rate that can be accomodated by the down-dam river system, destoy the existing dam, and build a new one using best practices of both the engineering and geoscience professions who both have come a long way in better understanding the science and the application of the science in an engineering effort.


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