Top 10 Largest Dams in America

America is home to some of the world’s most impressive dams, which not only provide crucial water resources but also generate clean energy and support various industries. In this article, we will explore the top 10 largest dams in America, delving into their history, size, water sources, and structural volumes. These engineering marvels have played a significant role in shaping the nation’s landscape and economy.

1. Oroville Dam, California

Topping the list as the largest dam in America is the Oroville Dam, located in California. Completed in 1968, it stands at an impressive height of 230 meters (770 feet). The dam’s reservoir, Lake Oroville, is fed by the Feather River, which originates in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. With a structural volume of 78.5 million cubic meters, the Oroville Dam is a testament to American engineering expertise.

2. Hoover Dam, Nevada/Arizona

The iconic Hoover Dam secures the second spot on our list. Completed in 1936, it reaches a height of 221 meters (726 feet). The dam’s reservoir, Lake Mead, is sourced from the Colorado River, providing water and power to multiple states. With a structural volume of 4.4 million cubic meters, the Hoover Dam is not only an engineering marvel but also a popular tourist attraction.

3. Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona

Arizona’s Glen Canyon Dam ranks third on our list of the largest dams in America. Completed in 1966, it stands at a height of 216 meters (710 feet). The dam’s reservoir, Lake Powell, is sourced from the Colorado River, serving as a vital water and power resource for the region. With a structural volume of 4.9 million cubic meters, the Glen Canyon Dam showcases the nation’s commitment to sustainable development.

4. Grand Coulee Dam, Washington

Washington State secures a spot on the list with the Grand Coulee Dam, the fourth-largest dam in America. Completed in 1942, it reaches a height of 168 meters (550 feet). The dam’s reservoir, Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake, is sourced from the Columbia River, providing irrigation and hydroelectric power to the region. With a structural volume of 11.6 million cubic meters, the Grand Coulee Dam is a symbol of American engineering prowess.

5. Shasta Dam, California

California’s Shasta Dam secures the fifth spot on our list. Completed in 1945, it stands at a height of 183 meters (602 feet). The dam’s reservoir, Shasta Lake, is sourced from the Sacramento River, providing water supply and hydroelectric power to the region. With a structural volume of 9.2 million cubic meters, the Shasta Dam plays a crucial role in water resource management and flood control.

6. Fort Peck Dam, Montana

Montana makes its mark on the list with the Fort Peck Dam, the sixth-largest dam in America. Completed in 1940, it reaches a height of 76 meters (250 feet). The dam’s reservoir, Fort Peck Lake, is sourced from the Missouri River, serving as a vital water resource and supporting irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. With a structural volume of 96.6 million cubic meters, the Fort Peck Dam showcases America’s commitment to sustainable development.

7. Fontana Dam, North Carolina

North Carolina’s Fontana Dam secures the seventh spot on our list. Completed in 1944, it stands at a height of 183 meters (480 feet). The dam’s reservoir, Fontana Lake, is sourced from the Little Tennessee River, providing water supply and hydroelectric power to the region. With a structural volume of 3.7 million cubic meters, the Fontana Dam exemplifies American engineering excellence.

8. New Bullards Bar Dam, California

California secures another spot on the list with the New Bullards Bar Dam, ranking eighth among the largest dams in America. Completed in 1969, it reaches a height of 226 meters (740 feet). The dam’s reservoir, New Bullards Bar Reservoir, is sourced from the North Yuba River, contributing significantly to the region’s water supply and hydroelectric power generation. With a structural volume of 2.1 million cubic meters, the New Bullards Bar Dam is a testament to American engineering prowess.

9. Dworshak Dam, Idaho

Idaho’s Dworshak Dam secures the ninth spot on our list. Completed in 1973, it stands at a height of 219 meters (717 feet). The dam’s reservoir, Dworshak Reservoir, is sourced from the North Fork Clearwater River, providing water supply and hydroelectric power to the region. With a structural volume of 6.2 million cubic meters, the Dworshak Dam plays a crucial role in Idaho’s water resource management.

10. Bull Shoals Dam, Arkansas

Arkansas’ Bull Shoals Dam concludes our list as the tenth-largest dam in America. Completed in 1951, it reaches a height of 57 meters (188 feet). The dam’s reservoir, Bull Shoals Lake, is sourced from the White River, providing water supply, flood control, and hydroelectric power generation. With a structural volume of 2.5 million cubic meters, the Bull Shoals Dam is a significant contributor to the region’s water and energy needs.

In conclusion, America’s largest dams are not only engineering marvels but also vital contributors to the nation’s water supply, energy production, and economic development. From the towering Oroville Dam in California to the iconic Hoover Dam on the Nevada-Arizona border, each dam on this list showcases the remarkable achievements of American engineering. As the nation continues to face water resource challenges and energy demands, these dams stand as symbols of our ability to harness nature’s power for the benefit of the nation and its people.

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