17 posts tagged with dam.
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Ode to an Unknown Engineer

John Pennycuick: The man who built the Mullaiperiyar dam
posted by infini on Dec 19, 2016 - 8 comments

"All we can do is hold our hearts."

Building a hydro-electric dam on a bed of water-soluble gypsum was never the best idea, but engineers kept it under control for thirty years by filling any holes that appeared in the bedrock with cement (a process known as grouting). Now the repair workforce has fallen by 90%, the bedrock is getting weaker, the sluice gates are jammed, and spring meltwater threatens to burst the dam and send a wall of water twenty metres high flooding towards the cities downstream. [more inside]
posted by rory on Mar 3, 2016 - 34 comments

Time and Tide

Life behind the Three Gorges Dam
The major themes of the China story - unprecedented socioeconomic change, environmental crises, the thirst for energy, the destruction of historical and cultural heritage - are all here, framed against the backdrop of millions of ordinary Chinese struggling to cope with the powerful man-made and natural forces beyond their control. Would the huge sacrifices be worth it in the end...
Photo-Essay, over time, by Singaporean photo-journalist Chua Chin Hon
posted by infini on Oct 18, 2015 - 5 comments

The Elwha River is free!

With the last scheduled blast on the Glines Canyon Dam the Elwha River is flowing completely free for the first time in a century. [more inside]
posted by edeezy on Aug 27, 2014 - 10 comments

What's That Clinging To The Towering Wall And Why Doesn't It Fall Off?

What's That Clinging To The Towering Wall And Why Doesn't It Fall Off?
posted by Daddy-O on Dec 19, 2013 - 30 comments

You made the fish disappear, you rob the bones of our ancestors

About 200 indigenous people on the Xingu, Tapajós and Teles Pires rivers began an occupation of the largest construction site of the Belo Monte Dam, demanding the withdrawal of troops from their land and the suspension of dam construction. Powerful and searing, this statement from a people pushed to the brink by their own state, Brazil, and who have begun an indefinite protest at the main construction site of the Belo Monte Dam, which is in the Xingu and Tapajós river basins
posted by infini on May 11, 2013 - 39 comments

Those Dam Beavers!

In December of 1997, a Michigan man received a letter from the Department of Environmental Quality informing him that he was prohibited from the 'Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files show that no permits have been issued. .... The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris dams and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all unauthorized activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the strewn channel.' He replied: 'Regarding Your Dam Complaint.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 9, 2012 - 38 comments


Ladies and Gentlemen, tired of the usual vacation spot? Want to get away from crowded beaches and cluttered national forests? Why not visit new-and-improved locations like: Permian Basin, Texas! Or Bull Shoals Dam, in Arkansas. Try a less-well-known section of Virginia Beach! Drive up to see the glaciers at Glacier National Park. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 4, 2012 - 24 comments

What does 390 million tonnes of silt look like?

Bystanders are dwarfed as they stand watching a tremendous rush of water gushing through gaps in a dam in China, part of a carefully-choreographed operation to remove silt from the Yellow River
posted by Renoroc on Jul 8, 2012 - 31 comments


On October 26th, a hole was blasted in the base of 125' tall Condit Dam on the White Salmon River in Washington. In less than 2 hours, the reservoir behind the dam drained completely and the White Salmon flowed unimpeded by a dam for the first time in 100 years. [more inside]
posted by unSane on Nov 4, 2011 - 72 comments

Is this a god dam?

Rising 726.4 feet from its foundation, Hoover Dam was constructed in five years, beginning in 1931 and completed in 1936. Take a look back at its construction and history. Via The Browser.
posted by nosila on Oct 13, 2011 - 43 comments

Russian Dam Disaster

On August 17th one of the worlds largest hydroelectric plants, Sayano–Shushenskaya in Russia, suffered a major catastrophe. [more inside]
posted by Confess, Fletch on Sep 4, 2009 - 40 comments

A dainty little cherry on top of the sundae of Iraq

Skip this one if you're sick of posts about Iraq or comment threads containing the word "Heckuva", but what would happen if Mosul's "Saddam Dam" ("Sadd Saddam" in Arabic) collapsed?
it could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths by drowning Mosul under 65 feet of water and parts of Baghdad under 15 feet
Good, because the US Army Corps of Engineers rates chances of collapse "exceptionally high". Top that, God.
posted by paul_smatatoes on Nov 10, 2007 - 88 comments

Damn! I Love This Dam Site.

A Damned Good Dam Site. The Fort Peck Dam in Montana, authorized by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 and completed in 1940, is the largest hydraulically filled dam in the United States. The website is a wonderful compendium of history, technology, tragedy, personal stories, photographs, a webcam and much more. The dam also has the distinction of being featured on the very first Life Magazine cover, photographed by Margaret Bourke-White.
posted by amyms on Mar 1, 2007 - 18 comments

China blows up temporary barrier of three gorges dam.

Using enough explosives to topple 400 10-storey buildings, China has blown up [bbc news .asx file] a temporary barrier used to hold water back from the controversial Three Gorges Dam.
posted by tnai on Jun 6, 2006 - 36 comments

Glory Hole

Glory Hole
posted by rubin on Jul 11, 2005 - 61 comments

Dam, that's big.

The Grand Coulee dam in northeast Washington state is the largest concrete structure in the United States. First conceived as a smaller dam, the idea of a large project won out and the Coulee's size was limited only by the fact that, if bigger, we'd flood Canada.

It wasn't until the New Deal philosophy of putting folks to work (even songwriters) materialized that the dam was given a green-light. The project, 30 years in development and 9 years in construction, was by all means a rousing success. Unless you were a displaced native. Or a fish.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies on Apr 28, 2005 - 14 comments

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