The use of check dams in watershed management projects: Examples from around the world.


School of Hydraulic Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Check dams are widespread and effective soil and water conservation structures throughout the world. This review paper presents an overview of the use of check dams for soil and water management and runoff control with examples from the literature based on field measurements from four continents. More than 150years of research has reported that check dams are civil engineering landmark structures used all over the world. Among all civil engineering structures, check dams are probably the most emblematic of torrent control works. They were used for centuries, and are located all around the world. Over the past several hundred years, people have increasingly realized the envisioned advantages of check dams such as land development, environmental improvement, agricultural production, enhancement of gully stabilities, and mitigation of intensive flood. The optimum size, location and type had great influences on the efficiency of check dams under watershed management. Moreover, in both the theoretical and practical realms, check dams have been proved to be a useful tool for controlling soil erosion and flooding at a catchment scale. This paper will be helpful for policy makers to extend check dam projects in the whole erosion-prone areas.


Check-dam,Flood mitigation,History,Soil conservation,