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GRANDE DIXENCE DAM (altitude 2365 m)

Situated at the head of the Val des Dix, Grande Dixence is the highest gravity dam in the world, and something of a record-breaker! The height of its wall, 285 metres, remains unmatched. Its weight, approximately 15 million tonnes, makes it heavier than the Great Pyramid of Cheops

Each year it stores over 400 million cubic metres of water, a capacity achieved by the use of no less than 6 million cubic metres of concrete in its construction. With exactly the same quantity of concrete, it would be possible to build a wall 1.5 metres high and 10 centimetres wide, running all the way round the equator!

The dam is 200 metres wide at its base. At the top it “slims down” to just 15 metres. To make the foundation soil watertight, the grout curtain which surrounds the dam reaches a depth of 200 metres. It extends for 100 metres on each side of the valley.

On 28 September 2011, the Grande Dixence dam received the "International Milestone Concrete Dam Project" prize which is awarded by the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), the Chinese National Committee on Large Dams (CHINCOLD) and the United States Society on Dams (USSD) in recognition of the world's most significant concrete dam projects. The Hoover dam in the United States, the Three Gorges and Ertan dams in China and the Itaipu dam in Brazil and Paraguay also won the award.

The Grande Dixence dam is open to the public from mid-June to the end of September.

Gravity dam

Construction 1950-1961
Commissioned from 1961
Height 285 m
Crest 15 m wide, 700 m from bank to bank
Capacity 400 million cubic metres
Area 4,04 km2
Length 5,3 km
Catchment area 46,3 km2

 

 
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Grande Dixence SA
Rue des Creusets 41
1950 Sion
T +4127 328 43 11
F +4127 328 43 82