Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a 'check dam'.

A check dam is an erosion control structure built in a streambed to check the following: 1) the down-cutting of the streambed by high velocity stream flows; and 2) the effects of down-cutting. Down-cutting of a streambed contributes to erosion by adding the sediment scoured from the streambed itself and by under-cutting, and thus de-stabilizing, the side slopes of the stream. The erosive potential of stream flows increases with flow velocity. Check dams reduce erosive potential of stream flows by allowing sediment to accumulate behind the structures, which in turn decreases the steepness of the stream, which in turn reduces the velocity of the stream flows.

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