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Bizarre Paths of Groundwater Around Structures


Some unexpected issues for engineers who design subsurface structures. Next time you see a dam, retaining wall, caisson, or any other subsurface construction, there’s a good chance that engineers have had to consider how groundwater will affect the stability.

source/image: Practical Engineering

Even though you’d never know they’re there, some combination of drains and cutoffs were probably installed to keep the structure (and the people around it) safe and sound.

Groundwater can sometimes wind up in unexpected places, given the way it interacts with subsurface structures.


In this Practical Engineering video, Grady discusses the paths that groundwater takes around structures and how civil engineers account for groundwater-related forces on dams and other buildings. As always, he illustrates with excellent model demos, allowing viewers to see groundwater interactions for themselves.//Practical Engineering