ENG  Vol.9 No.3 , March 2017
Mosul Dam: A Catastrophe Yet to Unfold
Abstract: Mosul Dam is multipurpose earth fill dam. It is 3.4km long, 113m in height and its storage capacity reaches 11.11 km3 of which 2.95 km3 is dead storage. The dam is located on the River Tigris in the northern part of Iraq about 60 km in north west Mosul city. The dam was built on highly karstified alternating beds of gypsum, marl and limestone. The dam was operating in 1986 and since then, seepage problems started due to the solubility of the gypsum beds, presence of karstification and the effect of the local groundwater aquifer. Insensitive grouting program was put to stop the seepage and ensure the stability of the dam but it did not stop. The situation became worse in 2014 when ISIS occupied the dam area and grouting operations which were halted. Recent evaluation of the conditions indicates that the dam is in its worst conditions. The failure models of the dam indicate that 6 million people will be affected, and 7202 km2 of land will be inundated. To stop this catastrophe, grouting operations should be continued intensively to elongate the span life of the dam. Water level within its reservoir should be kept at a very low level to minimize the damages in case of dam failure. As a permanent solution, another dam should be built downstream Mosul Dam so that it can take the wave of Mosul Dam in case of its failure.
Cite this paper: Adamo, N. , Al-Ansari, N. , Knutsson, S. , Laue, J. and Sissakian, V. (2017) Mosul Dam: A Catastrophe Yet to Unfold. Engineering, 9, 263-278. doi: 10.4236/eng.2017.93014.

[1]   General Directorate of Dams (1980) “Mosul Dam Project”. Collection of Reports and Studies on Mosul Dam for the period 1952 -1980. Library of the General directorate of dams and Reservoirs. Ministry of Water Resources, Baghdad, Iraq.

[2]   Saddam (1989) (Mosul) Dam Project Main Scheme—Final Report & As Built Drawings. Swiss Consultants Consortium, Baghdad.

[3]   Adamo, N. and Al-Ansari, N. (2016) Mosul Dam Full Story: Engineering Problems. Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering, 6, 213-244.

[4]   Washington Group International & Black and Veatch. (2005) Mosul Dam Study— Task Order No 8. Final Report, Washington, 156 p.

[5]   Warren, J.K. (2006) Evaporites: Sediments, Resources and Hydrocarbons. Springer-Varlag, New York.

[6]   Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. (2007) Relief and Reconstruction Funded Work at Mosul Dam, Mosul, Iraq.

[7]   Wheeler, A. (2004) Mosul Dam Assessment—Report on Site Visit, Baghdad. Iraq.

[8]   Kelly, J.R., Wakeley. L.D., Broadfoot, S.W., Pearson, M.L., MaGrth, C.J., McGill, M.T., Jorgeson, J.D. and Talbot, C.A. (2007) Geologic Setting of Mosul Dam and its Engineering Implications, USACE-Engineer and Development Center, Vicksburg.

[9]   Issa, I.E. (2015) Sedimentological and Hydrological Investigations of Mosul Dam. PhD Thesis, Department of Civil Engineering and Natural Resources Engineering, Lulea Technical University, Lulea.

[10]   Washington Group International & Black and Veatch (2005) Mosul Dam Study -Task Order No 8. Final Report. Potential Failure Mode—Appendix Journal Analysis.

[11]   MWH Mosul Dam Panel of Experts (2007) Mosul Dam, Issues and Challenges. Report No3, Amman.

[12]   EDR Engineering Consultants, Team International (2014) Badush Dam, Final Feasibility Study Report.

[13]   Adamo, N. and Al-Ansari, N. (2012) Mosul Dam Full Story: Safety Evaluations of Mosul Dam. Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering, 6, 185-211.

[14]   Al-Abayachi, S. (2016) Report on Mosul Dam. The Agriculture, water, and Marshes Sub-Committee, Iraqi House of Representatives.

[15]   Milillo, P., Burgman, R., lundgren, P., Salzer, J., Perissin, D., Fielding, E., Biondi, F. and Milillo, G. (2016) Space Geodetic Monitoring of Engineered Structures: The ongoing Destabilization of the Mosul Dam, Iraq. Scientific Report, Nature Magazine, Pasadena.

[16]   Cetinic, F. (Year) Satellite Based Information to Support Health Analysis of Mosul Dam. International Workshop on Mosul Dam, Stockholm, 24-25 May 2016.

[17]   Annunziato, A., Andredakis, I. and Probst, P. (2016) Impact of Flood by a Possible Failure of the Mosul Dam. JRC Technical Reports, EU Commission.