oa Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - The Roberts splitter : fifty years on



It was some forty-five years ago that a paper appeared in the Minutes of Proceedings of the South African Society of Civil Engineers entitled 'The dissipation of energy of a flood passing over a high dam'1. The author was Lt Col D F Roberts, and the paper on the Loskop Dam splitters covering some 46 pages of text commanded much attention and drew eight discussions. which with the author's reply added another 34 pages to the annals of our profession. In subsequent years Col Roberts' ideas, first applied to the Loskop Dam in 1937 in the form of splitters to partly dissipate the energy of the overflowing sheet of water before it struck the downstream face ledge on which the future raising of the dam was to be accommodated (see postscript), were to be emulated on some 32 dams in Southern Africa and abroad. The application was internationally recognized when Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners used it for the design of the Hendrik Verwoerd and P K le Roux Dams' spillways and later for the Victoria Dam in Sri Lanka2.


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