From the Dutch dam.

A levee is an earthen embankment made of earth, stone and concrete that prevents flooding or erosion, serves to retain water in a body of water (pond, reservoir) and diverts the water flow in the right direction.

A hydrotechnical structure consisting of an earth embankment with a trapezoidal cross-section to regulate water flows, sometimes to protect against avalanches, etc. The upper part of the levee is often used for roads and other communications.

A coastal natural high levee, mainly in the lower part of large rivers flowing along an accumulative plain confined to a tectonic trough (the Po, Mississippi, Syr Darya, Terek, Kuban, etc.). It is formed as a result of sedimentation of material brought by the river, especially during floods. The height of the levee reaches 6-8 m above the floodplain, so sometimes the water level in the river is above the floodplain and is restrained only by the levee, a break of which causes catastrophic flooding in the floodplain. In densely populated areas natural dams are used and artificially reinforced additionally. Artificial levee is a hydraulic structure in the form of a berm (made of earth, stone and concrete), which protects the bank from flooding, erosion, serves to retain water in the reservoir.

A distinction is made between dams:

Pressure barrier (barrier or protective dams designed to protect lowlands in the valleys of major rivers and sea shores from flooding);

non-pressure (to regulate river channels).

According to the method of construction:

natural - dams formed as a result of landslides and avalanches in the mountains; fallen trees, leaves, ice, organic debris and billboards blown away by sharp gusts of wind; beavers build dams to create pools in which they live;

man-made (created by people).

On the material of the levee:

soil (according to the method of construction are subdivided into alluvial, bulk and created by means of directional explosion);


of masonry;

masonry; stone and earth;


According to the terms for which are erected:


Temporary (e.g. sandbag dams for the time of floods, to divert water flow for the time of construction work in the river bed).

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