By kjfitz @ 2010-04-20 13:56:06
Medeu Mudflow Control Dam is a dam across the Medeu Valley south-east of Almaty, Kazakhstan, designed to protect the city from devastating debris flows (or mudflows).
Medeu Dam blocks the Medeu Valley (the valley of the Malaya Almatinka River) just south (upstream) of the Medeu Skating Rink. It was created on October 21, 1966 by a series of four preliminary explosions of 1,800 tons total and a final explosion of 3600 tons of ammonium nitrate based explosive. On April 14, 1967 the dam was reinforced by an explosion of 3900 tons of ammonium nitrate based explosive. More filling was done later on, until the dam reached its design profile in 1972.
Mikhail Lavrentyev, the Siberian mathematician known for his work on the theory of "directed explosion", was among the scientific consultants of this construction-by-explosion project.
It turned out that the dam was completed just in time for the potentially catastrophic mudflow of July 15, 1973. The dam worked, successfully stopping the flow. 3.8 million cubic meters of sediment was captured in the reservoir above the dam, bringing its bottom to the elevation of 1835 meters above the sea level.