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Arch Dams
Buttress Dams
Gravity Dams

Welcome to our site about dams! In this site we explore three different types of dams: arch dams, buttress dams, and gravity dams. We are all students at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. As part of our grade for the physics 24 class with Duane Deardorff, we were asked to construct a website. If you have any questions about the assignment, click on the link below to view our instructions.

Hope you enjoy our site,
Renita Eason, Haley Southern, and Megan Young


What are dams?
As defined by Webster's dictionary a dam is "a barrier preventing the flow of water or of loose solid materials (as soil or snow); esp: a barrier built across a watercourse for impounding water" (291).

The first functional dam was constructed in 2900 B.C. along the Nile River and was primarily used to prevent flooding. Over the past several centuries, the number of dams has increased in conjunction with the development of new uses and increased urbanization. Greeks and Romans were key developers of early dam structure. The Spaniards also utilized dams for water storage. Through time, the basic structure has been maintained; however, technological advancements have allowed dams to serve in the generation of hydroelectric power.

Facts about dams:

-The total number of dams in the U.S. (as of the most recent statistics) is 74,935 dams.
-Kansas has 9,900 dams, this is more than any other state.
-Dams produce more than 74,000 megawatts of renewable electricity each year.
-The tallest dam in the U.S. (770 feet) is the Oroville Dam in California, it was built in 1968.
-Over half of the dams in the U.S. are privately owned.
-Hoover dam contains 28,537,000 acre-feet storage capacity, the largest in the country.


Hoover Dam

As mentioned above, the uses of dams have greatly increased since they were first introduced. Today there are both many advantages and disadvantages to using dams. Some of these are listed below:
-Create hydroelectric power
-Gather drinking water for people
-Help with irrigation
-Prevent areas from flooding

-Destroy the natural ecosystem of an area
-Risk of failure of the dams

*To see more of the ecological effects that dams have visit the sites below.

What's Good- What's Bad

Ecological Effects