SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1993

Bureau of Reclamation Experience in Testing of Riprap for Erosion Control of Embankment Dams


The Bureau of Reclamation has accumulated significant experience with the use of riprap for erosion control of embankment dams through its history as a major water resources design and construction agency for irrigation projects in the seventeen western states. Successful exploration, design, testing, and construction methodologies have been developed through experience. Exploration and design aspects are well documented in a series of technical manuals and design standards. Riprap quality evaluations depend heavily on expert geologic and petrographic evaluations coupled with physical properties and freeze thaw testing of rock specimens. Quality evaluation methodologies were heavily influenced by concrete technology testing resulting in the use of 75 mm (3 in) cube specimens for freeze thaw testing. Physical properties tests are performed on crushed coarse aggregate gradations. Reclamation has an available database of almost 1000 quality evaluations. Field placement, control test procedures, and riprap performance studies are reviewed.

Author Information

Farrar, JA
Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colorado
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 3–14
DOI: 10.1520/STP15933S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5232-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1489-0