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A Masonry Dam is build out of individual stones or bricks. The Wikipedia link says that it is "sometimes" joined with mortar, and has a cite for it but the link is 404 dead.

Is that really true? How could a masonry dam not require mortar? The dam needs to be water-tight against a wall of water, which has larger pressures at the bottom. I don't see how the individual blocks could be so tight and perfectly-fitting to stop water at high pressures.

I was unable to find a single example of a masonry dam that explicitly does not use mortar. I guess I'm missing something. Is there some other common seal mechanism besides mortar?

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A "face" coating that provides the waterproof layer.

There are many materials used, from polymers to asphalt, cement etc

The material is chosen as it has to resit water movement - driven by wind etc

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, i knew it had to be something simple. $\endgroup$
    – DrZ214
    Oct 10, 2023 at 8:27

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