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Concrete Dams Department Concrete Dams Department


The areas that make up the current organization of the DBB, especially dedicated to the study of the behavior of large concrete dams and attached underground works, are namely: the characterization of the structural properties of the body of these works and the rock masses of their foundations, as well as the main actions that act on them; the study of the behavior of dams, using models; and the control of their safety during the construction and operation phases.

These areas of intervention resulted in the development of DBB capacities, essentially in the following areas: site and characterization studies of rock masses (development of Rock Mechanics); development of structural analysis models, both experimental and mathematical (development of reduced models and finite element models); and instrumentation and methodologies for observation and interpretation of behavior (development of observation of works).

DBB's activity is developed, from an organizational point of view, in the Modelling and Rock Mechanics Unit (NMMR), which is dedicated to the development and analysis of mathematical and physical models for studies of simulation or interpretation of the behavior of the works and on the characterization of structural properties and actions in rock masses and foundations, in the Observation Unit (NO), which is dedicated to the observation, interpretation and analysis of the works' behavior, and the Applied Geodesy Unit (NGA), which is dedicated to the observation of the behavior of dams and other engineering works by geodesic methods.

As in the creation and development of LNEC, Manuel Rocha's initiative and determination are at the basis of the development in Portugal of Dam Engineering. Since the beginning, it has had the collaboration of two great figures of Dam Engineering worldwide, successively heads of the Dam Service, and who embodied what is today the Department of Concrete Dams of LNEC: Joaquim Laginha Serafim and António Ferreira da Silveira

Organically, DBB is structured in:

Applied Geodesy UnitModelling and Rock Mechanics
Monitoring Unit