First Advisor

Trevor D. Smith

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering


Earth dams -- Maintenance and repair, Geogrids



Physical Description

1 online resource (249 p.)


Collapse and cracking of debris earth embankment dams is a serious problem in areas of the arid Western United States. The use of geogrids is evaluated in this thesis as a possible solution to prevent or reduce the amount of damage to the structures from collapse and cracking.

An apparatus was designed, constructed, and instrumented to electronically acquire data to evaluate the behavior of geogrids during pullout tests under various normal stresses. The pullout tests were also modelled using numerical techniques to correlate physical test data with numerical test data. Understanding the behavior of the geogrid, in both the physical and numerical pullout tests, allowed the geogrid model to be combined with a collapsing dam model to evaluate the effectiveness of reinforcement at reducing, or preventing, damage caused by collapse and cracking. Results from this model indicate that the effectiveness of the geogrid was minimal. The ineffectiveness of the geogrids, however, may be a result of numerical modelling problems associated with the computer program.


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Persistent Identifier