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Dam Incidents and Failures – Cases in the Czech Republic

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Dam incidents and failures mainly occur during extreme floods. In the Czech Republic (CR), large-scale regional floods were recorded in different regions in 1985, 1987, 1997, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2013, while local floods especially occurred in 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2009, and 2010. During these events, numerous incidents and total breaches of small dams were recorded, and a few large dams were also critically endangered, although they were not completely breached. This paper presents a comprehensive summary of incidents and failures affecting small dams in the CR since 1985. The most significant incidents concerning large dams are listed as well. The statistics show that 62 small dams were completely breached and that 350 were seriously damaged over 35 years in the period 1985–2020. The annual frequency amounts to 1.85 collapsed and 10 small damaged dams per year. The most common causes of the complete breaching of dams were overtopping (85 %) and internal erosion (15 %).

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Sujets de la revue:
Engineering, Introductions and Overviews, other