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Publication Date

September 2007


Mosul Dam, Iraq, was built in the 1980s on a foundation of soluble geologic materials. Because of the solubility of its foundation and abutments, maintenance grouting began immediately after construction and continues to the present. The U.S. Army is concerned about the stability of the dam, and about the potential military and political impacts that would accompany dam failure. At the request of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Gulf Region Division, the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) developed a three-dimensional (3-D) geologic conceptual model of the dam, as a tool to assist with improving dam safety and updating grouting operations. To develop the model, the ERDC Project Delivery Team built a geographic information system based on recent imagery, coupled with paper maps and geologic cross sections from the 1980s with minimal and inconsistent positional accuracy. Historic geologic data were translated into digital files and georeferenced, then consolidated and refined into a consistent set of lithologic information that was entered into the U.S. Department of Defense Groundwater Modeling System (GMS), the U.S. Army’s specialized tool for performing subsurface modeling studies. Using the tools available in GMS, the ERDC team constructed a 3-D geo- logic model of the foundation and abutments comprising 43 unique geo- logic units. The 3-D nature of the model, along with the ability to rotate, view, and create cross sections, adds significantly to the understanding of the size, shape, and arrangement of rock units beneath Mosul Dam and the relevant processes that affect the safety of the dam and its foundation under operating conditions.


Geologic Conceptual Model, Mosul Dam, Soluble Geologic Materials, Gsm, Erdc

Document Type



Engineer Research and Development Center, Vol. TR-07-6 (2007-09).





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