How Groundwater Interacts with Dams and Buried Structures


It’s worth noting that one of the worst disasters in Italy was not a failure of the dam, but of correctly understanding how the groundwater could affect the terrain behind the dam:

On 9 October 1963, during initial filling, a landslide caused a megatsunami in the lake in which 50 million cubic metres of water overtopped the dam in a wave of 250 metres (820 ft), which brought massive flooding and destruction to the Piave Valley below, leading to the destruction of several villages and towns, causing between 1,900 and 2,500 estimated deaths. The dam remained almost intact and two thirds of the water was retained behind it