Trying to control nature is a human trait, and engineers have much to say about how to do it. There will be many lessons drawn from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, but one issue that should receive greater attention is the failure of land-use rules to protect coastal communities. It would be surprising if this factor were overlooked, given how much thought is devoted to sustainability and preserving nature, not to mention how much is already known about the way population density increases the destruction caused by tidal waves. Plainly, better land-use rules could have saved
Arch dams, classically curved monoliths situated in narrow valleys, are not as common as other types of dams, such as embankment dams and gravity dams. ENR takes a look at some of the biggest arch dams in the world, both completed and under construction.