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Historical Development of Arch Dams.

From Roman Arch Dams to Modern Concrete Designs

Patrick JAMES © 2004

Hubert Chanson © 2004

© 2004

Published in Australian Civil Engineering Transactions
Institution of Engineers, Australia, 2002, Vol. CE43, pp. 39-56 (in English)


Dam designs may be divided into three main types : gravity structures relying on their weight for stability, arch structures using the abutment reaction forces and buttress dams. The design of an arch dam relies on the abutment reaction forces to resist the water pressure force and it requires advanced engineering expertise. The present study demonstrates that the historical development of arch dams took place in five stages. The world's oldest arch dams were built by the Romans in France and Spain. They were followed by the Mongols who built dams in Iran during the 13th and 14th centuries. However it is not until the 19th century that significant progress in arch dam design was made. Four remarkable structures were the Meer Allum dam (India 1804), the Jones Falls dam (Canada 1831), the Zola dam (France 1854) and Parramatta dam (Australia 1856). Australian engineers pioneered the use of concrete as a construction material for arch dams (i.e. 75-Miles and Lithgow No. 1 dams). Modern concrete arch dam designs were introduced in North-America at the beginning of the 20th century : e.g., constant-angle arch, double-curvature arch. Since no major design breakthrough has taken place and modern arch dams are based upon the single-radius, constant-angle or double-curvature arch design. It is the writers' opinion that the introduction of concrete as construction material marked a major innovation in allowing a flexibility in arch shape design.

Keywords : arch dam, historical development, arch design, Roman dam. Mongol dam, Australian dam, masonry, concrete, civil engineering.


Dam designs may be divided into three main types : gravity structures relying on their weight for stability, arched structures using the abutment reaction forces and buttress dams. Historically, the first dams were earthfill and rockfill embankments [1] (Fig. 1). Masonry gravity dams [2] were built at sites where good quality stones were available [3]. Sometimes, the dam wall was reinforced by masonry buttresses [4]. Later designs included arch dams, relying on the abutment reaction forces to resist the resulting water pressure force. A related design is the multiple-arch buttress dam, consisting of a series of arches supported by buttresses.

Fig. 1

SMITH (1971) and SCHNITTER (1994) presented comprehensive treatises on the history of dams. However, arch dam design was rare up to the late 19th century and the historical development of such dams received less attention, with one notable exception (SCHNITTER 1976).

The present work will show that the historical development of arch dams progressed during five periods: the Roman arch dams (1st centuries BC and AD), the Mongol dams (14 and 15th centuries), some advanced masonry dams in the early 19th century (1804-1856), the Australian concrete arch dams (1880-1896) and the modern arch shapes at the beginning of the 20th century (1903-1928).


It is inadequate to define a dam as curved or arched because it does not identify the relative importance of the gravity and the abutment forces in providing stability. Such a dam should correctly be called a curved gravity, thick-arch or thin-arch structure. A curved gravity dam is primarily a gravity structure relying on its weight for its stability and the wall curvature adds little to its stability. By contrast, an arch dam would be unstable without the contribution of the abutment reaction forces. A thick-arch dam relies both on its weight and on the abutment reaction for its stability. A thin-arch dam is a leaner structure relying predominantly on the abutment reaction forces for its stability; typically the ratio of the base thickness to the dam height (E/H) is less than one third. Practically, the arch dam design is well adapted to narrow gorges and it produces substantial savings in costs compared to a gravity dam. In Figure 1, typical cross-sections of gravity and arch dams are compared.

The basic arch dam shapes are the constant-radius arch, the constant-angle arch and the double-curvature arch with increasing complexity. The constant-radius arch design, also called the single-radius arch, is a cylindrical shape (Fig. 2). The upstream face is usually vertical while the downstream face is battered. The constant-angle arch design is a variable-radius arch. The design is based on a constant central opening angle, with the arch radius increasing from base to crest [5] (Fig. 2). It results in considerable saving in construction material, compared to the constant-radius arch design. Lars R. JORGENSEN (1876-1938) who applied the concept demonstrated that the dam contained minimum material for an optimum opening angle of 133.6 degrees (JORGENSEN 1915) [6]. The double-curvature arch design, also called spherical dome or cupola, has a more complex shape and vertical curvature is introduced. The shell design results in saving in concrete but requires more technical skills that for a constant-angle arch dam.

Fig. 2

Roman arch dams

The first arch dam is probably the Roman dam at Glanum [7], built during the first century BC to supply water to the Roman town (Table 1). The Roman dam was rediscovered in 1763 by Esprit CALVET (BENOIT 1935, GOBLOT 1967). A recent study by AGUSTA-BOULAROT and PAILLET (1997) indicated that the dam was made of cut stones held together with crampons and finished with waterproof cordon joints. The site was well selected (Fig. 3) and the wall abutments were cut in the rock.

Another unusual Roman dam was the Esparragalejo dam, near Merida (Table 1). Built around the 1st century AD for irrigation purposes, the structure was a  multiple-arch buttress dam, 5.6-m high and 2-m thick at base with circular arches.

Fig. 3


The Romans built gravity embankment dams[8], straight masonry gravity dams[9] and curved-gravity dams[10]. But the dam at Glanum was unique. It was a slender thin arch dam (E/H = 0.265). The writers hypothesise that the arch dam design was introduced because the site was favourable to a masonry dam (Fig. 3) but nearby construction materials were scarce.

The arch technique was applied by the Romans to sewers, aqueducts and bridges, although there is no evidence of scientific design rules, Professor C. O'CONNOR suggested that, for Roman bridges, the ratio of arch rib thickness to span was about 1/10 for spans less than 15-m and could be reduced down to 1/20 for greater spans (O'CONNOR 1993, pp. 168-169). Interestingly the ratio of dam wall thickness to arch curvature radius was between 1/10 and 1/7 at Glanum: i.e., close to Roman bridge dimensions.

For completeness, some researchers [11] suggested the existence of further Roman arch dams : e.g., Kasserine (Tunisia), Dara (Turkey), Çavdarhisar (Kütahya, Turkey), Örükaya (Çorum, Turkey) [12]. A re-analysis of these structures demonstrated that Kasserine, Çavdarhisar and Örükaya were curved gravity dams. In the particular case of Dara, the Byzantine historian Procopius (6th century AD) indicated a curved dam, possibly as at Kasserine, and no remain is visible.

Mongol arch dams

During the 13th century, the Mongols invaded and settled in Iran where they built several large dams [13]. Around the 14th century, they built also some arch dams (Table 1). The Mongol arch dams in Iran had thick arch walls and they were significantly higher than the Roman dams. The first arch dam (Kebar, AD 1300) was heightened to 26 m around AD 1600 while the Kurit dam was 60-m high before heightening (GOBLOT 1965, 1973). The Kurit dam was extraordinary, having the very-low crest length to dam height ratio L/H of 0.42 after heightening (probably less prior). It is interesting to note that these structures were used for several centuries. Several dams were still standing in the 1970s although some were subjected to foundation failures : e.g., Chabb Abbasi [14]. The Mongol dams were further equipped with sophisticated outlet systems (e.g. Kebar, Kurit).


Some transfer of expertise on arch dam design might have taken place from the Romans to the Iranians. After the defeat of Valerian's army [15] in AD 260, 70,000 men were captured and transported to Persia where they were forced to work. The Roman army was often involved in large-scale civil engineering works, in particular aqueduct constructions (FEVRIER 1979, LEVEAU 1991), and it is likely that it was also involved in dam construction. The Roman prisoners built bridge-weirs and dams in Iran [16]. Some structures, for example Shustar bridge-weir, were still in use when the Mongols invaded in Iran. There is however no proof that the Mongols were aware of the Roman arch dams.

Both the Roman and Mongol dams in Iran were milestones in arch dam development. From the 14th century up to the beginning of the 19th century, the arch dam development was scattered and disparate. An arch dam was built in Italy at Pontalto in 1612 and the structure was heightened more than six times over the next 270 years from 5-m to 37.8-m. In Spain, Don Pedro Bernardo VILLAREAL DE BERRIZ (1670-1740), a Basque nobleman, designed and built one single-arch and four multiple-arch dams with vertical circular arches in the 1730s. They were low-head structures used for water power purposes and four of them are still in good condition (SMITH 1971).

Masonry arch dams in the early 19th century

During the first part of the 19th century, the arch dam design was dominated by four large structures. These were the Meer Allum (India), Jones Falls (Canada), Zola (France) and Parramatta (Australia) dams (Table 1).

In India Henry RUSSLE [17], Royal Engineers, built the extra-ordinary Meer Allum (Mir Alam) dam with a 10-Mm3 water storage capacity around 1804 [18]. The multiple-arch dam was built to supply water to Hyderabad and it is still in use. It consists of 21 semi-circular vertical arches with span ranging from 21.3 to 44.8 m.

In Canada John BY [19] (1779-1836) built several curved masonry dams between 1827 and 1832 as part of the Rideau waterway system. One, the Jones Falls dam, was a true arch dam (LEGGET 1957-59, SMITH 1971, SCHNITTER 1994). Completed in 1831, the 18.7-m high dam was a constant-radius arch wall, 8.4-m thick at base (Table 1). The dam is still used today for hydropower and navigation purposes.

François ZOLA (1795-1847) [20] designed two arch dams in 1832 for the water supply of Aix-en-Provence, France (COYNE 1930, 1956). One, the Zola dam, was built between 1847 and 1854. It was the first arch dam design based on a rational stress analysis (SCHNITTER 1994). The reservoir was used as a town water supply until 1877. Today it is still in use for flood retention (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4

One of the first significant  hydraulic structures in Australia was the Parramatta dam near Sydney (Fig. 5, Table 1). Built between 1851 and 1856, the 12.5-m high arch dam was designed by P. SIMPSON (1789-1877), E.O. MORIARTY (1824-1896) and W. RANDLE [21]. It was a constant-radius arch with a cylinder shape and it was heightened by 3.35-m in 1898 under the supervision of Cecil West DARLEY (1842-1928) (WADE 1909).

Fig. 5


All four structures were constant-radius arches built in cut-stone masonry. It is generally believed that the thickness of cylindrical arch was calculated using the thin cylinder formula because the concept was familiar at the time to engineers involved in shell and ship hull calculations [22].

It is worth noting that three dams were built in the British empire. Two structures were designed by Royal Engineers : the Meer Allum multiple arch dam (1804?) and Jones Falls thick arch dam (1831). It is possible that these designs influenced the Australian engineers with a transfer of expertise taking place through Royal Engineers. The Royal Engineers in India had a strong involvement in water supply systems and they were sometimes called upon in Australia [23]. The writers believe that the Royal Engineers in India were aware of the successes of Meer Allum and Jones Falls dams [24] and they might have advised Australian engineers [25].

The four masonry arch dams are still in use for water supply (Meer Allum), hydropower (Jones Falls), flood retention (Zola) and recreation (Parramatta). Their long-lasting operation demonstrates the soundness of design and the quality of the masonry construction.

Concrete arch dams in Australia

Built near Warwick (QLD), the 75-Miles dam was a water supply for steam locomotives (CHANSON and JAMES 1998b). The first dam was designed by Henry Charles STANLEY (1840-1921). It was a concrete arch, 5.04-m high, 1.07-m thick at crest and 2.784-m at the base. The dam was equipped with an overflow spillway, a scour outlet and a water outlet feeding a water tank located below beside the railway line. In 1900-1901, the dam was heightened to 8 to 10-m under the supervision of STANLEY. The enlargement included the addition of three concrete buttresses (Fig. 6). The 75-Miles dam in 1880 was the oldest concrete arch dam built in Australia, and possibly the world's oldest concrete arch dam. It was the second arch dam completed in Australia as well as the second dam built entirely of concrete in Australia [26].

Fig. 6

Completed in 1896, Lithgow No. 1 dam was built as a town water supply and designed by C.W. DARLEY (Fig. 7). The 10.7-m high dam was a concrete single-radius thin-arch structure [27]. It was equipped with an overflow section and an outlet system. In 1914 or 1915, the dam was heightened by closing the spillway overflow section and adding new wing walls. A new overfall spillway was built. The dam was disused around 1983-84 because the reservoir did not have enough available head to feed the new wastewater treatment plant. It has been kept empty since 1986 and it is now used as a flood retention reservoir (Fig. 7). Lithgow No. 1 dam was the first Australian thin-arch dam, and it is the world's oldest concrete thin-arch structure. The design by DARLEY became a standard, commonly called 'Darley-Wade dam' design in Australia (CHANSON and JAMES 1998b).

Fig. 7

Between 1907 and 1909, Ernest Macartney de BURGH (1863-1929) built two thin-arch dams, de Burgh dam (1907-08) and Barren Jack City dam[28] (1908-09), as part of the construction of the Burrinjuck reservoir[29] (Barren Jack NSW, 1927) (CHANSON and JAMES 1998b). First completed, de Burgh dam was built to supply water to the railway line supplying the construction site [30]. It was a reinforced-concrete single-radius thin-arch (Fig. 8). The concrete wall was reinforced with 20-lb. rails, 1.52-m apart horizontally and 3.048-m apart vertically[31]. De Burgh dam was a true reinforced-concrete arch with rail reinforcement placed from toe to crest. The wall reinforcement was not a standard design feature of the Darley-Wade dams. With Hume Lake dam (see below), de Burgh dam is the world's oldest reinforced-concrete thin arch dam.

Fig. 8

The oldest multiple arch dam in Australia

Completed in 1897, Junction Reefs dam [32] is a multiple-arch dam, 18.3-m high (Fig. 9). There are 5 elliptical arches, each with a 8.5-m span and a 60-degrees lean. The dam foundation and outside walls were made of concrete while the arches and buttresses were built in brick. Brick construction was selected as the cheapest and quickest material to build for the arches [33], concrete being cheaper only for the foundation (SCHULZE 1897). Curiously the original design included six arches but the final design had only five arches because of delays in the brick-making. The arches were designed in the same way as bridge arches [34]. Built to provide hydropower for the nearby gold mine, the dam suffered heavy siltation and the reservoir is fully silted today. The design of Junction Reefs has been well-known overseas (WEGMANN 1922, SMITH 1971, SCHNITTER 1994).

Fig. 9

Modern arch dam designs

The introduction of concrete as a construction material for arch dams marked a significant advance. Designers were able to consider complex curved shapes to minimise the construction material and the overall cost. The developments took place first in North America (Table 1).

Professor G.S. WILLIAMS (1866-1931) designed the world's oldest cupola dam (Fig. 10). The Ithaca dam (New York, USA, 1903) was designed to be a 27-m high structure, but construction was stopped when the dam height reached 9-m because of local opposition (SCHUYLER 1909, WEGMANN 1922). An interesting construction detail was the brick facing used as concrete formworks.

Fig. 10

The oldest concrete multiple arch dam was designed by John S. EASTWOOD (1857-1924). The Hume Lake dam (California, USA 1908) was built in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 114 days (WEGMANN 1922) ! The 206-m long 18.6-m high structure consisted of 12 circular arches (15.24-m span) inclined at 58-degrees with the horizontal and vertical in the upper 4.88-m section. The concrete reinforcement included old logging cables (over 12 km) and railroad scrap iron.

Lars R. JORGENSEN designed the first constant-angle arch dam (Table 1) [35]. Completed in 1914, the Salmon Creek dam was 51.2-m high and the opening angle was 113 degrees. The arch radius ranged from 44.96-m at base to 100.9-m at crest.

Another advanced design was the Coolidge dam (Globe Ariz., USA 1928). It was the first cupola-shaped multiple-arch structure. Consisting of three arches, it was designed and constructed by the US Bureau of Indian Affairs, and it is still in use for irrigation and hydropower.


Although dams were built as early as BC 3,000, and concrete was used by the Romans, the world's first concrete dams were completed in 1872 : Boyds Corner (New York, USA) built between 1866 and 1872[36] and Pérolles dam[37] (Switzerland) built from 1869 to 1872[38]. They were followed by others : e.g., Lower Stony Creek (Australia, 1873), San Mateo[39] (San Mateo CAL, USA, 1888). All these were gravity dams. In the United Kingdom, the first mass concrete dam exceeding 15-m in height was the Abbeystead dam completed in 1881 (BINNIE 1987). In Hong Kong, the Tytam dam, completed in 1887, was a concrete gravity structure with masonry stone facing. The Sand River gravity dam, completed in 1906, was the first concrete dam in South Africa (SCHUYLER 1909, WEGMANN 1922) [40]. In India, the first large concrete structure was the Periar (or Periyar) dam built between 1888 and 1897 near Madras (SCHUYLER 1909) [41]. Altogether, the construction of concrete dams began in the 1870s and intensified at the turn of the century.

Historically, after the Roman and Mongol era, the arch design fell out of favour until the 19-th century. The development of arch dams was later facilitated by the introduction of concrete as a construction material. The world's oldest concrete thick arch and thin-arch dams were single-radius arches built in non-reinforced concrete [42]. The Australian concrete arch dam design was acknowledged in Europe and in the USA (SCHUYLER 1909, WADE 1909, WEGMANN 1922, see also SMITH 1971, SCHNITTER 1994). WEGMANN (in the discussion of WADE 1909) stated that, in his opinion, "the curved dams built [...] in New South Wales had been designed more logically" than any other arch dams or curved-gravity dams.

Masonry construction: cut-stone or concrete

The zenith of stone masonry dam construction was the 1850-1900 period and the construction techniques were well documented [43]. Why did the Australian engineers select concrete as dam construction material ? In Australia, concrete was used for waterworks, weirs and dams as early as the 1870s. By world standards, large and innovative concrete works were produced such as the great dome of the Melbourne Public Library [44] (LEWIS 1988). Concrete construction for arch dams was selected because of the lower cost, the facility of construction by unskilled labour and the ease to build irregular shapes compared to stone masonry construction.

Concrete was the cheapest construction material at the end of the century. DARLEY (1900) estimated the total cost of Australian arch dam at $8 per m3 of masonry [45] (Table 2). Table 2 shows that the cost of concrete dam construction dropped from the 1870s to the 1900s to become lower than that of stone masonry. DARLEY's choice was consistent, although in advance, with world-known dam engineers [46]. Interestingly, brick was selected at Junction Reefs dam as being cheaper than concrete at this particular site.

Another advantage of concrete over cut-stone is the ease of construction by labourers and horse carts. At Lower Stony Creek, "owing chiefly to the scarcity of masons, [...] the dam was built of concrete instead of masonry" (GORDON 1875, p. 402). Australian concrete dams were built of blocks of stone set in concrete, a technique called plum concrete or cyclopean concrete. "Plum stones to the maximum size that can be handled by two men" were used (DARLEY 1900, p. 56). "All the concrete [was] mixed by hand [and] wheeled into place in barrows and trucks" (WADE 1909, pp. 10-12). The concrete was laid in 3-feet courses "held between mould-boards [formwork] 10 ft long by 3 ft 6 in. high" (DARLEY 1900, p. 55). By comparison, stone masonry necessitated a skilled workforce (i.e. stonemason artisans) and a plant to carry stones. For example, a machinery capable to carry 2 to 6 tons was used to handle and place the masonry blocks at Parramatta dam (Fig. 5, ASH and HEINRICHS 1996, p. 13). The ease of construction contributed to the lower cost but also suited well a new continent without skilled manpower.

A third advantage of concrete construction was the flexibility of shape. "With concrete [...] labour is saved and concrete has the farther advantage that it can be rammed into any irregular cavity" (DOBSON 1879, p. 111) [47]. Concrete offered a flexibility of shapes and curved designs (e.g. cupola shape). The introduction of concrete as a construction material paved the way for the newer modern designs : constant-angle and cupola arch dams : e.g., Ithaca (1903) (Fig. 10).


The development of concrete dam construction under the leadership of DOBSON and DARLEY marked the end of large stone masonry dam in Australia. From 1890, the highest large dam in Australia had been a concrete structure until the 1960s (NIMMO 1966).

An interesting parallel is the construction of masonry arch bridges. O'CONNOR (1974) showed that the construction of (notable) stone arch bridges came to a end basically in 1909 [48].

Multiple arch dam design

The development of multiple arch dams attracted some interest in Spain and Italy. Roman engineers built the oldest multiple-arch dam at Esparrageljo in Spain (SCHNITTER 1994). In 1530 the architect Baldassare PERUZZI (1481-1536) proposed a multiple arch dam for the reconstruction of a fishing pond reservoir in Siena, Italy (SCHNITTER 1994, pp. 118-119). TURRIANO[49] (1511-1585) recommended also the selection of multiple arch dam "for use on large rivers" in his Codex (GARCIA-DIEGO 1976). VILLAREAL DE BERRIZ built five multiple arch-buttress dams in Northern Spain around 1730.

In the 19th century two significant structures were Meer Allum and Junction Reefs. Although Junction Reefs dam was smaller than Meer Allum, it incorporated new advanced features : elliptical arches, and a sloping upstream face which enhances the dam stability. Further advances in designs were made with the Hume Lake and Coolidge dams.

Summary and CONCLUSION

The historical development of arch dams may be summarised in five stages (Table 1). The world's oldest arch dams were built by the Romans in France and Spain. They were followed by the Mongols who built dams in Iran during the 13th and 14th centuries. However it is not until the 19th century that significant progress in arch dam design was made. Four remarkable structures were the Meer Allum dam (India 1804), the Jones Falls dam (Canada 1831), the Zola dam (France 1854) and Parramatta dam (Australia 1856). All four of them are still in use today and they demonstrated the soundness of arch dam design. Australian engineers pioneered the use of concrete as a construction material for arch dams. The world's oldest concrete arch dam was completed in 1880 : the thick arch dam at 75-Miles. The world's oldest concrete thin-arch was the Lithgow No. 1 dam (1896). Both the 75-Miles and Lithgow No. 1 dams were made of non-reinforced concrete.

Modern arch dam designs were further developed in North-America. The world's oldest cupola dam was completed in 1903 at Ithaca. The first constant-angle arch da was completed in 1914. Modern multiple arch design were completed in 1908 (Hume Lake) and 1928 (Coolidge). Since no major breakthrough has taken place. It is the writers' opinion that the introduction of concrete as construction material marked a major innovation in arch dam shape.


The authors acknowledge the help and assistance of a large number of people, including : the Australian Railway Historical Society, Warwick section; Mr P. BRIXIE, Warwick QLD; Mr and Mrs J. CHANSON, Paris, France; Ms CHOU Y.H., Brisbane QLD; Mr B.S.C. HARPER, University of Melbourne VIC; Mr Michael N. CHRIMES, Libarian, Institution of Civil Engineers, London, UK; Mr I. HOLT, Lithgow Historical Society NSW; Professor C. O'CONNOR, Brisbane QLD; Mr J.L. PAILLET, CNRS-IRAA, France; Queensland Railways, Historical Centre QLD; Mr Michael ROBERTSON, Warwick QLD; Mr P. ROYET, CEMAGREF, Aix-en-Provence, France; Professor R.L. WHITMORE, Brisbane QLD.

The manuscript was prepared while the first author was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Toyohashi University of Technology (Japan).


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GOBLOT, H. (1967). "Sur Quelques Barrages Anciens et la Genèse des Barrages-Voûtes." ('On Some Ancient Dams and the Genesis of the Arch Dams.') Revue d'Histoire des Sciences, Tome XX, No. 2, April-June, pp. 109-140 (in French).

GOBLOT, H. (1973). "Du Nouveau sur les Barrages Iraniens de l'Epoque Mongole" ('Some News on the Mongolian Dams in Iran.') Art et Manufactures, No. 239, pp. 14-26 (in French).

GORDON, G. (1875). "Concrete Dam for Geelong Water Works." Roorkee Professional Papers on Indian Engineering, Second Series, Vol. 4, p. 402 & 2 plates.

HAGER, W.H. (1993). "Sir Proby Cautley (1802 bis 1871), ein Pionier des Bewässerungskanalbaus." Die Wasserwirtschaft, Vol. 83, No. 12, pp. 676-678 (in German).

HARPER, B.S.C. (1998). "Edward Dobson and the Mass Concrete on Stony Creek for the Geelong Water Supply." Proc. 9th Nat. Conf. on Engineering Heritage, IEAust., Ballarat VIC, Australia, 15-18 March, pp. 97-106.

JAMES, D.P., and CHANSON, H. (1999). "Australian Arch Dams from 1851 to 1958." ANCOLD Bulletin, No. 113, Dec., pp. 109-122 (ISSN 0045-0731).

JAMES, D.P., and CHANSON, H. (2000). "Cement by the Barrel and Cask." Concrete in Australia, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 10-13 (ISSN1440-656X). {http://www.engaust.com.au/magazines/cia/0900coverstory.html}

JORGENSEN, L.R. (1915). "The Constant-Angle Arch Dam." Transactions, ASCE, Vol. LXXVIII, pp. 685-721. Discussion : Vol. LXXVIII, pp. 722-733.

LEGGET, R.F. (1957-1959). "The Jones Falls Dam on the Rideau Canal, Ontario, Canada." Trans. Newcomen Society, Vol. 31, pp. 205-215. Discussion : Vol. 31, pp. 215-218.

LEGGET, R.F. (1972). "Rideau Waterway." University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada, Revised edition, 249 pages.

LEVEAU, P. (1991). "Research on Roman Aqueducts in the past Ten Years." Future Currents in Aqueduct Studies, Leeds, UK, T. HODGE ed., pp. 149-162.

LEWIS, M. (1988). "Two Hundred Years of Concrete in Australia." Concrete Institute of Australia, Sydney, Australia, 137 pages.

MILL, J. (1848). "The history of British India." J. Madden, London, UK, 5 edition, 10 volumes.

NEWLAND, J.T. (1994). "The Goondah-Burrinjuck Railway." Australian Railway Historical Society, Star Printery, Erskineville NSW, Australia, 128 pages.

NIMMO, W.H.R. (1966). "Historical Review of dams in Australia." ANCOLD Bulletin, No. 18, pp. 11-51.

O'CONNOR, C. (1993). "Roman Bridges." Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 235 pages.

PELLETREAU, A. (1879). "Barrages Cintrés en Forme de voûte." ('Curved Dams with Arch Design.') Annales des Ponts et Chaussees, 1er semestre, pp. 198-218 (in French).

RANKINE, W.J.M. (1872). "Report on the Design and Construction of Masonry Dams." The Engineer, Vol. 33, Jan. 5, pp. 1-2.

SALADIN, H. (1886). "Rapport sur la Mission Faite en Tunisie de Novembre 1882 à Avril 1883." Archives des Missions Scientifiques et Littéraires, Ministère de l'Instruction Publique, France, Serties 2, Vol. 13, pp. 1-225 (in French).

SANKEY, R.E. (1871). "Report on the Coliban and Geelong Water Schemes of Water Supply." Report, presented to both Houses of Parliament, Victoria (Australia), 11 November.

SCHNITTER, N.J. (1976). "The Evolution of the Arch Dam." Intl Water Power & Dam Construction, Vol. 28, Oct., pp. 34-40 & Nov., pp. 19-21.

SCHNITTER, N. (1979). "Les Barrages Romains." ('The Roman Dams.') Dossiers de l'Archéologie, Séries Les Aqueducs Romains, Vol. 38, Oct.-Nov., pp. 20-25 (in French).

SCHNITTER, N.J. (1994). "A History of Dams : the Useful Pyramids." Balkema Publ., Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

SCHULZE, O. (1897). "Notes on the Belubula Dam." Trans. Australian Institute of Mining Eng., Vol. 4, Paper 52, pp. 160-172 (+ 2 plates).

SCHUYLER, J.D. (1909). "Reservoirs for Irrigation, Water-Power and Domestic Water Supply." John Wiley & sons, 2nd edition, New York, USA.

SMITH, N. (1971). "A History of Dams." The Chaucer Press, Peter Davies, London, UK.

Teignmouth, H.S. Baron (1933). "The private record of an Indian governor-generalship : the correspondence of Sir John Shore, Governor-General, with Henry Dundas, president of the Board of Control 1793-1798." Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

WADE, L.A.B. (1909). "Concrete and Masonry Dam-Construction in New South Wales." Min. of Proc. of Instn. of Civil Engineers, London, Vol. 178, No. 9, Paper 3791, pp. 1-26. Discussion : Vol. 178, No. 9, pp. 27-110.

WEGMANN, E. (1893). "The Design and Construction of Masonry Dams." John Wiley & Sons, New York, USA, 3rd edition.

WEGMANN, E. (1922). "The Design and Construction of Dams." John Wiley & Sons, New York, USA, 7th edition.

WHITMORE, R.L. (1984). "Eminent Queensland Engineers." Institution of Engineers, Australia, Queensland Division, Consolidated Printers, Brisbane.


CHANSON, H., and JAMES, D.P. (2000). "Historical Development of Arch Dams. From Cut-Stone Arches to Modern Concrete Designs." Internet resource {http://www.uq.edu.au/~e2hchans/arch_dam.html}.

CHANSON, H., and JAMES, D.P. (2000). "Extreme Reservoir Siltation: a Case study. Rapid reservoir sedimentation in Australia." Internet resource {http://www.uq.edu.au/~e2hchans/res_silt.html}.


E - dam base thickness (m);

e - dam crest thickness (m);

H - dam height above foundation (m);

L - arch dam crest length (m)

R - radius of curvature (m) of arch wall;

 - arch opening angle;

Appendix I - Dam Engineers of the 19th and early 20th Centuries

Hydraulic engineers

Cecil West DARLEY (1842-1928) was born in Wingfield, County Wicklow, Ireland and educated at King William's College (Isle of Man). He gained early engineering experience on railway construction. He arrived in Sydney in 1867 to join the PWD as Engineer under E.O. MORIARTY, Engineer in Chief for Harbours and Rivers. He worked on the Newcastle harbour works and breakwater until 1881. Then he worked as principal assistant engineer, Water Supply, and he succeeded MORIARTY in 1889 as Chief-Engineer for Rivers, Water Supply and Drainage. He was later Chief Engineer for the NSW-PWD from 1896 to 1901. He later returned to Europe.

Leslie Agustus Burton WADE (1864-1915) was born in Singleton NSW (Australia) and died in Sydney (Australia). He was trained in Australia as a surveyor. He worked for NSW Department of Public Works from 1880 to 1890, and from 1892 to 1912. On 1 January 1913 he was appointed the first Commissioner of the newly formed Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission, in charge for all irrigation programs within New South Wales.

Railway and hydraulic engineers

Ernest Macartney de BURGH (1863-1929) was educated at the Royal College of Science in Ireland (COLTHEART and FRASER 1987). He gained initial engineering experience on railway construction in Ireland before emigrating to New South Wales. He took his appointment in the Public Works Department in April 1885. He was, there, involved in railway construction as bridge engineer when Henry J. DEANE was Chief Engineer for Railway Construction (PWD-Railway Construction branch). Note that, in 1904, de BURGH went to England and France to study dam construction and water supply. This date might correspond to his shift of responsibility to dam engineering. He retired in Australia on 22 November 1927.

Born in Scotland, Henry Charles STANLEY (1840-1921) was educated and trained on railway construction in Scotland. He migrated to Queensland in 1862-63, worked on the first Queensland railway line from 1863 to 1865 and was appointed as Engineer on the (Queensland) Southern and Western Railway in 1866. He became Chief Engineer in 1872 and Chief Engineer for Railways for Queensland in 1892 until his retirement in 1901 (WHITMORE 1984). There is evidence that H.C. STANLEY had contacts with the NSW-Public Works Department, In 1878, he had "been placed in communication with the Railway Department, New South Wales, with the object of considering the best mode of ultimately connecting the railway system in this colony [i.e. Queensland] with that of New South Wales." [50]. In the same report, H.C. STANLEY acknowledged his visit to the Public Works Department in Sydney.

François ZOLA (1795-1847) was a civil engineer of Italian descent. Born Francesco ZOLLA in Venice, he was at the military academy at Pavia (1810-12), and he later studied mathematics and surveying at the University of Padua (1817-18), He was lieutenant in the Imperial Army of Napoleon (1812-15), then in an Italian Regiment of the Austrian army (1815-21) and later in the French Foreign Legion (1832-33) (BROWN 1996). He worked as a railway engineer, including on the Linz-Budweis line, in Austria for 10 years up to 1832. From 1833, he worked in France, being involved in the construction of a municipal water system of the town of Aix-en-Provence. The water was taped from the Cause river in the Infernet gorge (Zola dam, Fig. 4)) and an aqueduct followed the right bank of the valley towards Aix.

Military engineers

Henry RUSSLE (?)[51], Royal Engineers, built the extra-ordinary Meer Allum (or Mir Alam) dam in India (SCHUYLER 1909, SMITH 1971, SCHNITTER 1994). The multiple arch dam, completed in 1804, was built to supply water to Hyderabad and it is still in use. It consists of 21 semi-circular arches (12-m high, up to 51-m span). Each buttress is 12.8-m long (in flow direction) and 7.3-m thick.

John BY (1779-1836), Royal Engineers, was educated at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich first. He transferred to Royal Engineers in December 1799. From 1802 to 1811, he served in Canada (Royal Engineers, Québec City). He served later in Spain and Portugal. He supervised constructions of Royal Gunpowder Mills (in UK) from 1812 until 1821 He was retired in 1821 and promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1824. He was recalled to work on the construction of the Rideau waterway, Canada, from May 1826 to May 1832.

Sir Proby CAUTLEY (1802-1871) was cadet at Addiscombe military college from 1818 to 1819. Arrived in India in 1819, he made important contributions in palaeontology and irrigation engineering (e.g. BROWN 1978, HAGER 1993). He participated to the reopening of the Eastern Jumma [52] irrigation canal in 1830, he constructed the Dehra Dun watercourses (1833-44) and the Ganges canal (1842-54). The later system [53] included a 708-km long canal [54] feeding 4,360-km of distribution channels.

Percy (Pierce) SIMPSON (1787-1877), born, in England, was a lieutenant in the Royal Corsican Rangers. He later became Governor of Paxos (Ionian Islands). He migrated to Australia and arrived in 1822. He held various Government posts in New South Wales. Percy SIMPSON was involved in the design of the Parramatta dam from 1854 and later he was civil engineer in charge of the Parramatta Dam Construction Works (Fig. 5).

Sir Arthur COTTON [55] (1803-1899), Madras engineers, entered the East India Company's military college at Addiscombe before obtaining a commission in Madras. He constructed major irrigation works in India, in particular on the Cauvery and Coleroon rivers, Godavari river and Krishna [56] river. The Godavari system included the 4-km long Dowlaishwaram weir completed in 1844 (BUCKLEY 1905), and it supplied 850-km of navigable channels and 2,570-km of irrigation canals. COTTON built also the Bezwada weir on the Krishna river between 1852 and 1855. The structure was 1,130-m long, 6.1-m high, and capable to pass a 22,000-m3/s flood. The Krishna irrigation system included 560 km of navigable and 1,290 km of unnavigable canals. COTTON visited Australia in three occasions : in Tasmania in 1839 and 1841 to restore his health [57], in Victoria few years later.

Sir Richard H. SANKEY (1829-1908), Royal Engineers, Madras, was cadet at Addiscombe and was later educated at Chatham (Royal Engineers). He served in India from 1848 to 1883. From 1861 to 1877, he worked at Mysore as assistant to the Chief Engineer (1861-64) and later as Chief Engineer, Public Works (1864-1877). He developed a systematic hydrological study of the area, and his expertise was called upon by the Victoria Government (Australia) for seven months in 1870 [58]. From 1879 to 1883, he was secretary in the Public Works Department, Madras. Although he retired from the army in January 1884 [59], he was  Chairman of the Irish Board of Works from 1883 to 1896 [60].

Table 1 - Characteristics of historical arch dams




Constr. material






























ROMAN DAMS                    
Les Peirou, Glanum (St-Rémy-de-Provence), France

1st cent. BC


stone masonry







Town water supply. New arch dam built in 1891. [0, 1]
Esparragalejo, Merida, Spain

1st cent. AB


stone masonry







Irrigation. Rebuilt in 1959.12 buttresses (8.6-m span). [2]










Kebar, Qoum, Iran

AD 1300 / 1600


stone masonry

26 (1)


5 (1)

9 (1)

35 (1)

40 (1)

Gravity abutments. Fully-silted dam still visible in the 1970s. [3]
Kalat-e-Naderi, Mashhad, Iran

AD 1350 (?)


stone masonry







Kurit, Tabas, Iran

AD 1350 / 1850


stone masonry

60 / 64

27 (1)

1.2 (1)

15 (1)



Still visible in the 1980s. [2, 3]
Chabb-Abbasi, Tabas, Iran

AD 1400 (?)


stone masonry







Foundation washout without upper wall collapse. [2, 3]










Meer Allum, Hederabad India

1804 (?)


stone masonry





10.6 to 22.4


Designed by Henry RUSSLE. Water supply. Still in use. [2, 4, 5, 6]
Jones Falls, Ottawa, Canada



stone masonry







Designed by John BY. Navigation and hydropower. Still in use. [7]
Zola, Aix-en-Provence, France



stone masonry







Designed by Maurice ZOLA. Town water supply. Still in use for flood retention. [0, 2, 4, 8, 9]
Parramatta, Sydney, Australia

1851-56 / 1898


stone masonry / concrete

12.5 / 15.8


2.3 / 1.46




Designed by P. SIMPSON, E.O. MORIARTY & W. RANDLE. Town water supply. Still in use for recreation. [10, 11]










75-Miles, Warwick QLD, Australia

1879-80/ 1900-01

VA-a / Buttress


5.04 / 9 (?)

24.5 / 30

1.07 / 0.89




Designed by Henry STANLEY. Railway water supply. Still in use. [0]
Lithgow No. 1, Lithgow NSW, Australia

1896 / 1914



10.7 / 11.5

54.3 / 55

1.07 / 1.1




Designed by Cecil DARLEY. Town water supply. Disused since 1986. [0, 10]
Junction Reefs, Lyndhurst NSW, Australia



concrete & bricks







Designed by O. SCHULZE. Hydropower for mining. 5 arches. Fully-silted. [0, 15]
de Burgh, Barren Jack NSW, Australia



reinforced concrete


30.2 (?)





Designed by Ernst de BURGH. Railway water supply. Disused since 1929. Fully-silted. [0]










Ithaca, New York, USA


VA-b cupola

concrete & brick facing







Cupola designed by G.S. WILLIAMS to be 27-m high. Town water supply. [6]
Hume Lake, California, USA



reinforced concrete







Designed by J. EASTWOOD. Fluming and logging pond. 13 buttresses. [12]
Salmon Creek, Juneau ALSK, USA


VA-b constant-angle

reinforced concrete





45 to 100.9


Constant opening angle desinged by L.R. JORGENSEN. Hydropower. Still in use. [13]
Coolidge, Arizona, USA


MV-CB cupola

reinforced concrete







Cupola arches. Irrigation and hydropower. Modified in 1992-94. Still in use. [2]

Notes :

Date : construction period (underlined completion date); 300 / 600 : construction in 300, heightening in 600.

Design : VA = arch; VA-a = thick arch, VA-b = thin arch, MV-CB = multiple arch-buttress.

Notation : E : dam base thickness; e : dam crest thickness; H : dam height above foundation; L : arch dam crest length; R : radius of curvature of arch wall; q : arch opening angle; (1) after 1st dam heightening; (?) : uncertain data.

References : [0] : authors' inspection (see also CHANSON and JAMES 1998b); [1] AGUSTA-BOULAROT and PAILLET 1997; [2] SCHNITTER (1994); [3] GOBLOT (1965, 1973); [4] SMITH (1971); [5] Engineering Record (1903), [6] SCHUYLER (1909), [7] LEGGET (1957-59, 1972); [8] COYNE (1930); [9] GOBLOT (1967); [10] WADE (1909), [11] ASH and HEINRICHS (1996); [12] WEGMANN (1922); [13] JORGENSEN (1915); [14] SCHULZE (1897).

Table 2 - Masonry dam construction costs


Year of completion

Dam type, masonry type

Masonry volume

Masonry cost














Gouffre d'Enfer, Fra


Gravity, Stone



Lower Stony Creek, Aus.


Gravity, Concrete



Bear Valley, USA


Arch, Stone



Located 1,890 m altitude
Betaloo, Aus.


Gravity, Concrete



La Grange, USA


Gravity, Stone



Williams, USA


Gravity, Stone



Junction Reefs, Aus.


Multiple arch, Brick & concrete



Brick arches.
Seligman, USA


Gravity, Stone



Australian arch dams


Arch, Concrete



Darley-Wade arch dams.
Barossa, Aus.


Arch, Concrete



Cataract, Aus.


Gravity, Stone



Cross River, USA


Gravity, Stone




Ref.: SCHULZE (1897), DARLEY (1900), SCHUYLER (1909), WEGMANN (1922), HARPER (1998).

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[1]For example, Sadd-El-Kaffara (Egypt BC 2800-2600), Marib (Yemen BC 750), Panda Wewa (Sri Lanka BC 400-300), Cornalvo (Spain AD 150-200).

[2]Concrete and stone masonry dams are commonly called "gravity dams".

[3]For example, Khosr river (Irak BC 694), Al-Harbaqa (Syria AD 132), Kasserine (Tunisia AD 100-200).

[4]For example, Alcantarilla (Spain BC 200-100), Proserpina (Spain AD 130).

[5]The concept was first introduced by Albert G. PELLETREAU (1843-1900) in 1879 (PELLETREAU 1879).

[6] He added, however, that "the use of a smaller central angle [...] might be more economical, and 120-degrees or even less [...] might give very satisfactory results".

[7]also called Les Peirou dam. A newer dam was built in 1891 at the same place, above the Roman dam foundation (Fig. 3). Today, the site of Glanum is located 1-km South of the town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France.

[8]For example, Alcantarilla, Spain BC 200-100; Proserpina, Spain AD 130.

[9]For example, Al-Harbaqua, Syria AD 132.

[10]For example, Kasserine dam, Tunisia, AD 100? (SALADIN 1886), Çavdarhisar dam, Turkey (SCHNITTER 1994).

[11]For example, SCHNITTER (1979), AGUSTA-BOULAROT and PAILLET (1997).

[12]The Çavdarhisar and Örükaya dams were flood retention structures. Their scour outlet system had cross-section areas of 11 and 3 m2 respectively (STARK 1957-58).

[13]For example, the Saveh dam was a gravity dam built in AD 1285 (H = 25 m, L = 65 m).

[14]The complete upper portion of the dam wall was still standing in the 1970s despite the missing foundation (GOBLOT 1973). In the authors' opinion, this highlights the soundness of the arch wall design and the quality of the masonry work.

[15]Roman emperor from AD 253 to 260.

[16]Examples of bridge-weir include Dezful and Shustar, and an example of dam is Ahwaz (e.g. SMITH 1971, O'CONNOR 1993, SCHNITTER 1994). Shustar dam is also called Band-i-Kaisar or "Dam-Bridge of Valerian" (O'CONNOR 1993). Ahwaz dam, also called Ahvaz weir, was a 900-m long masonry weir on Karun river.

[17]There are conflicting informations on who constructed the dam. SCHNITTER (1994) stated that the dam was built by a Henry RUSSLE, Royal Engineers. Yet the Imperial Gazetteer of India (1907-1931) suggested that the Meer Allum dam was built by French engineers working for the Prime Minister of the Nizam (i.e. ruler of the Hyderabad State), for the water supply of Hyderabad city (Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1907-31, Clarendon Press, UK, 1908, Vol. 13, p. 311). The first author believes that the involvement of Royal Engineers is likely because the Prime Minister Mir Alam was favourable to British influence (MILL 1848, Vol. 7, pp. 21 & 25) and the dam was named after Mir Alam (or Mir Alem). The Hyderabad ruler, Nizam Ali, accepted British ascendancy in 1767, and his successor Nizam Ali Khan placed his country under British protection in 1798. But a strong French influence existed from 1795 to 1796-98(?) when French officers under the command of RAYMOND oversaw the Nizam's army (Teignmouth 1933).

[18]For example, Engineering Record (1903), SCHUYLER (1909), SMITH (1971), SCHNITTER (1994).

[19]Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Engineers. See Appendix I.

[20]Father of the French novelist Emile ZOLA (1840-1902).

[21]For example, ASH et HEINRICHS (1996).

[22]For example, two of the designers of the Parramatta dam, namely SIMPSON and MORIARTY, were respectively a former officer of the Royal Navy and a naval engineer, both of them familiar with the calculations of ship hulls (ASH and HEINRICHS 1996, CHANSON and JAMES 1998a).

[23]Officers serving in India, at the time, had to take leave in Australia or in South Africa. Hence there was a stream of visiting Indian engineers in Australia. For example, Lieutenant-Colonel R.H. SANKEY (1829-1908) visited Australia from India in 1870 (SANKEY 1871) and advised on the designs of the Malmsbury dam (1870, Bendigo VIC) and the Lower Stony Creek dam (1873, Geelong VIC). The Malmsbury dam was equipped with the first Australian stepped spillway (CHANSON 1997). The Lower Stony Creek dam was the first Australian concrete dam (HARPER 1998).

[24]Indeed the designer of Jones Falls dam, John BY, was well-known and respected among the Royal Engineers.

[25]The occasions were the visits of Sir Arthur COTTON (1803-1899) to Australia. COTTON visited Australia on three occasions : in Tasmania in 1839 and 1841 to restore his health, and in Victoria few years later (Private communications from B.S.C. HARPER, 13 Oct. 1998 & M.M. CHRIMES, 27 Oct. 1998). Around 1850, he wrote a paper on water supply in Australia. His experience with irrigation works and dam construction in India (e.g. Meer Allum) might have influenced local engineers.

[26]The first concrete dam was the Lower Stony Creek dam near Geelong VIC completed in 1873 (LEWIS 1988, HARPER 1998).

[27]with a vertical upstream face and battered downstream face (1H:3.6V).

[28]also called Barren Jack Creek dam.

[29]also called Burrenjick or Barren Jack dam (concrete gravity structure, H = 61 m, L = 233 m).

[30]It was a narrow-gauge railway for cement supply and operated from June 1908 to April 1929. The transport of cement (50,000 tonnes) was a critical factor in the construction of the Burrinjuck dam given the remote location of the site.

[31]The design was mentioned by both COLTHEART and FRASER (1987) and NEWLAND (1994). But the book of COLTHEART and FRASER (1987) associates inaccurately the original design (de BURGH 1908) with photographs of the Barren Jack City dam !

[32]also called Junction Point Reefs dam or Belubula dam (SCHULZE 1897, SCHNITTER 1994).

[33]There was presence of good clay for brick-making near the dam site.

[34]"The arches were calculated in the same way as bridge [...] and the buttresses as bridge piers" (SCHULZE 1897, p. 171). Professor C. O'CONNOR commented that the arch shape and brick laying was unusual, the arch bricks being laid inclined parallel to the upstream arch face while the buttress elliptical shape was not easily understandable.

[35]This is not strictly correct. JORGENSEN (1915) mentioned a smaller constant-angle dam designed by an American H.F. CAMERON in the Philippines around 1913-14. The 30-m high dam was used for Manilla's water supply.

[36]A major refurbishment took place in 1990, with the construction of a new spillway (6.1-m wide flip bucket in the central dam section) and the use of post-tensioned anchors to increase the dam stability.

[37]also called La Maigrauge dam.

[38]Dam heightening in 1909.

[39]also called Lower Crystal Springs dam.

[40]Note that the first arch dam was completed near Johannesburgin 18989  for mining purposes.

[41] In 1870, RANKINE's opinion was sought as to the dam profile. In his reply, RANKINE extended the method of de SAZILLY and DELOCRE for the design of gravity dam, first applied to the Gouffre d'Enfer dam (DELOCRE 1866, RANKINE 1872). This design method is considered as the basic analysis of the stability of gravity dams.

[42]The designs were based on the thin cylinder formula (WADE 1909, de BURGH 1917).

[43]For example, WEGMANN (1893), CREAGER (1917).

[44]It was the world's largest reinforced concrete dome at the time (1908-13).

[45]Cost in US$ of the time, with an exchange rate of about £ 1 = US$ 4.9 (SCHUYLER 1909).

[46]In 1909, SCHUYLER indicated that cyclopean concrete and mass concrete were both cheaper than rubble masonry and obviously cut-stone masonry for dam construction (SCHUYLER 1909, p. 204). In 1922, WEGMANN discussed the masonry type for gravity dams : "As far as stength is concerned cut stone would be the best class of masonry for building a dam, but, on account of it great cost, it is only used at the faces and for [..] ornamental work at the top." (WEGMANN 1922, p. 49). [This marked a change of opinion. In 1893, he stated that "rubble masonry is undoubtedly the best material that can be used for building a dam" compared to cut-stone masonry, concrete or rubble (WEGMANN 1893).]

[47]DOBSON refered to the construction of the Lower Stony Creek dam.

[48]The historical development of bridges was characterised "by a complete cessation in the construction of major stone arches (c. 1909)" (O'CONNOR 1974, p. 10). This date coincided with the construction of the Grafton bridge in Auckland (New Zealand) (completion 1910, 98-m clear span).

[49]Juanelo TURRIANO (1511-1585) was an Italian clockmaker, mathematician and engineer who worked for the Spanish Kings CHARLES V and later Philip II. It is reported that he checked the design of the Alicante dam for King Philip II.

[50]Report of the Queensland Railway Commissioner, 1878.

[51]see also Section 2.

[52]The canal was originally built by the Mughals during the 17th century. The Western Jumma canal was built during he 14th century, renovated during the 16th century, extended during the 17th century and re-opened by the British in 1819 (JOYCE 1978).

[53]also called Upper Ganges canal.

[54]Between 1863 and 1865, a quarrel took place between Sir CAUTLEY and Sir COTTON, because of scour and damage of some masonry structures of the canal (BROWN 1978, pp. 77-83).

[55]Little information was found on the chronology of COTTON's military rank. He was major during the Cauvery and Coleroon rivers works (1835-38), colonel in 1858 and he retired from the army with the rank of general in 1877 (Dictionary of National Biography, 1917, Oxford University Press, Vol. XXII, Supplement, pp. 488-492).

[56]also spelled Kistna.

[57]In Tasmania, he married Elizabeth LEARMONTH On 29 october 1841.

[58]He was promoted brevet Lieutenant-Colonel in June 1869, regimental Lieutenant-Colonel in October 1870 and brevet Colonel in October 1875.

[59]Promoted Major-General in June 1883, he retired with the honorary rank of Lieutenant-General.

[60]Hence he knew Robert MANNING (1816-1897), Chief Engineer of the Office of Public Works, Ireland.

Portada de TRAIANVS