Application of geophysical methods in a dam project: Life cycle perspective and Taiwan experience

Chun Hun Lin, Chih Ping Lin, Yin Chun Hung, Chih Chung Chung, Po Lin Wu, Hsin Chan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


There is a growing demand for using non-destructive geophysical techniques to internally image dam condition and facilitate the early detection of anomalous phenomena. Near surface geophysical techniques have advanced significantly in the last few decades, and can play a significant role in the siting, construction, and operational safety and sustainable management of dams. Application of engineering geophysics in site characterization during feasibility investigation phase is already part of the standard of practice. This paper introduces newer applications of engineering geophysics during construction phase, dam safety assessment, and sustainable management, including quality control of compacted soils, investigation of abnormal leakage in an earth dam, evaluation of an aged concrete dam, geophysical health monitoring for a newly-constructed dam, and monitoring of sediment transport for sediment management. The applications were presented with more emphases on the needs of dam engineering and adapting appropriate geophysical methods to make assessment more effective and consequential. The collage of these case studies is to broaden the view of how geophysical methods can be applied to a dam project throughout a dam's life cycle and strengthen the linkage between geophysical surveillance and engineering significance at all stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-92
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Geophysics
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Dam safety
  • Engineering geophysics
  • ERT
  • Seismic tomography
  • Surface wave
  • TDR


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