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Raising Dams with Dam Templates

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

Dam Templates in Muk3D give you the possibility to rapidly and rigorously raise your dam for a range of construction designs. Discover the main concepts behind this feature in this article or directly watch the tutorial video.

Whether your facility layout is ring dykes (upstream constructions) or a type of valley impoundments (centerline & downstream constructions), a list of dam construction design templates can be set up for your dam can be raised and re-raised from dam toes. All geometry modelled and quantities are reported and automatically saved to disk.

Single dams can be raised, multiple dams raised, or only sections of either raised or sections raised to differing elevations. We're covering the most simple single dam raise in this article.

List of Muk3D Tailings Dam Construction Templates
List of Muk3D Tailings Dam Construction Templates


You have a final capacity design and want to start or continue to raise your dam. In order to reiterate the process of raising the dam, a dam profile needs to be set up containing the geometric characteristics of the final design dam and of the type of construction design. It then needs to be associated with a reference line. The reference line is a line that is common to all the dam raises and to the final capacity design as illustrated in Figure 2. The reference line differs according to the type of construction as listed in the table below.

Type of Construction

Reference Line

Upstream Construction

Downstream Toe Line

Centerline Construction

Dam Centerline

​Downstream Construction

Upstream Toe Line

Typical cross sections for the dam templates available in Muk3D and their associated  reference lines
Typical cross sections for the dam templates available in Muk3D and their associated reference lines


The workflow to raise a dam can be summarised as listed below.

  1. Start - You have a final capacity design

  2. Extract and save your Reference Line for your final capacity design

  3. Create your Dam Profile including all the characteristics from your final capacity design geometry and additional parameters specific to the type of construction selected.

  4. Create your Dam Template to tie the Dam Profile to the Reference Line associated with your final capacity design.

  5. Choose an elevation and Raise Dam to that elevation

  6. That's it. Repeat the process for new raises.

Workflow to raise your dam in Muk3D
Workflow to raise your dam in Muk3D


Go through the various steps and start raising a Simple Upstream Dam in this tutorial. You can find all the files necessary to follow this tutorial in the link below.

Download ZIP • 2.53MB

The intend of this is to showcase the tools available in Muk3D to do dam raises. We understand the reality of upstream operations works different than in this example and that upstream methodology has been discouraged across many countries due to various recent failures.

Raising a dam is the first step to staging it. Once you've completed this tutorial, if you want to continue, muck about and start staging a dam. The only step left is to insert a step for deposition after each raise. Of course, for the upstream and centerline raises, you’ll be stepping out onto the tailings beach for each successive raise. Regardless of that, the process is the same and the base grid for the raise would just be the output grid from the previous deposition run. That's it, you can stage your own dams in Muk3D. Tutorial on staging dams (hopefully) coming soon.


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