Damage Evaluation of the Taum Sauk Reservoir Failure using LiDAR


The Taum Sauk Dam Upper Reservoir located in southeast Missouri failed on December 14, 2005. Two days after the catastrophic failure event an aerial survey were conducted to collect Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data. The LiDAR data were interpreted and evaluated to a sub-meter resolution. The data were used to quantify the extent of the damage produced by the water released into a Missouri State Park. Damage consisted of washing out trees, soil, and the reservoir embankment, and scouring the ground to bedrock in places. Additionally, the data also were used in the evaluation of the reservoir damage, which consisted of a 207.3m (680ft) wide breach and scoured slopes. This paper focuses on the multiple uses of LiDAR data to assess damage to natural resources, and hydraulic and geotechnical evaluation of the failure.

Meeting Name

Geo-Denver: New Peaks in Geotechnics (2007: Feb. 18-21, Denver, CO)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Second Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Damage Detection; Data Reduction; Failure Analysis; Natural Resources; Optical Radar; Optical Resolving Power,; Catastrophic Failure; Reservoir Damage; Sub-Meter Resolution; Reservoirs (Water)

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2007 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2007