Stepped Spillways: Technical Advance from 1900
Stepped spillways are currently a standard design in hydraulic engineering. Whereas these spillways were hardly employed until the advent to the Roller-Compacted Concrete (RCC) Technology in the 1980s, they were of particular interest from the 1990s for spillways of small or medium unit discharge, provided the RCC machinery was available. This paper reviews the technical background of the hydraulic developments of the stepped spillway concept, from roughly 1900 until 1990, when large research projects set in due to the success of the stepped spillway technology. The main steps in the integration of stepped spillways in dam schemes are described, along with isolated research conducted with these and similar structures, so that this paper may be considered an aid in the understanding of the fundamental hydraulic background of stepped spillways. The biographies of the main actors in this research field are also highlighted, including a portrait of the persons concerned.