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The new methods of investigating colloidal erodibility (dispersion) of fine-grained soils for the impervious sections of earth dams have been used as part of the design studies for two important dams for hydroelectric projects in Colombia. The soils derived from weathering of diorite which form the surface materials over a large geographic area are highly erosion resistant, as evidenced by resistance to erosion of severe rainfall runoff (annual rainfall 3 to 5 m/year), and are shown to be nondispersive in laboratory tests. Laboratory tests of filter requirements confirm that sand filters are not needed to prevent piping.
clays, dams, laboratory tests, erosion
Associate, Integral Ltda., Medellin,