U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Published in Hydraulic Engineering: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions: Proceedings of the Hydraulic Engineering sessions at Water Forum ’92. Baltimore, Maryland, August 2–6, 1992. Published by American Society of Civil Engineers.


A reevaluation of design floods for dam safety within the united states showed that the need to modify dams to accommodate larger floods has greatly increased in recent years. The occurrence of larger design floods would result in overtopping of the dams at many existing reservoirs due to insufficient storage or release capacity. When the addition of storage or release capacity becomes impractical or too costly, dam owners must sometimes resort to providing overtopping protection.
An ASCE Hydraulics Division Task committee on Alternatives for Overtopping Protection for Dams was established in 1991 to inventory and evaluate modification alternatives for new, innovative spillway designs and overtopping protection concepts for dams. Results of this task committee are being prepared for publication by ASCE during late 1992. This paper provides an overview of some recent research and prototype applications of several alternatives for overtopping protection and some modifications to prevent overtopping.