25 Tallest Dams In The World

Posted by , Updated on May 21, 2024

Throughout history man has been building dams for various reasons, whether it was to prevent floods, generate electricity, or create a water supply. Starting thousands of years ago in the middle east as small walls, today dams are immensely huge power generation facilities that fulfill a number of tasks and take years to build. So, whether you recognize the impact these architectural wonders have had on your life or not, these are the 25 tallest dams in the world.

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Toktogul Dam

Toktogul Dam

A hydroelectric and irrigation dam on the Naryn River in the Jalal-Abad Province of Kyrgyzstan, this dam is the shortest on our list at 215 meters high.


Longtan Dam

Longtan Dam

Longtan Dam is a large roller-compacted concrete gravity dam on the Hongshui River in China. It stands at 216.5 meters.


Glen Canyon Dam

Glen Canyon Dam

Named for Glen Canyon, a colorful series of gorges most of which now lies under the reservoir, the dam created the second largest artificial lake in the United States.


Dworshak Dam

Dworshak Dam

At 219 meters, Dworshak is the third tallest dam in the United States and the tallest straight-axis concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere.


Contra Dam, Switzerland

Contra Dam

Commonly known as the Verzasca Dam and the Locarno Dam, the Contra is an arch dam on the Verzasca River in Switzerland.


Hoover Dam, Arizona

Hoover Dam

Once known as Boulder Dam, the Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada.


Luzzone Dam, Switzerland

Luzzone Dam

Featuring the world’s highest artificial climbing wall on one of its sides, this dam stands at 225 meters.


Bhakra Dam, India

Bhakra Dam

This is a concrete gravity dam across the Sutlej River near the border between Punjab and Himachal Pradesh in northern India.


Karun-4 Dam, Iran

Karun-4 Dam

An arch dam on the Karun River in Iran its primary objectives are electric power supply and flood control.


Shuibuya Dam, China

Shuibuya Dam

Built not just for power but also to promote flood control, navigation, tourism and fishery, the Shuibuya Dam is 233 meters tall.


Chirkey Dam, Russia

Chirkey Dam

This arch dam on the Sulak River is the tallest arch dam in Russia at 232.5 meters.


El Cajón Dam, Honduras

El Cajón Dam

Officially known as Central Hidroeléctrica Francisco Morazán, this dam is a hydroelectric power plant located in Western Honduras.


Oroville Dam, California

Oroville Dam

At 230 meters high this earthfill embankment dam on the Feather River in California is the tallest in the United States.


Ertan Dam, China

Ertan Dam

This 240 meter high arch dam can be found on the Yalong River, a tributary of the Yangtze River in Sichuan Province, southwest China.


Sayano–Shushenskaya Dam, Russia


Located on the Yenisei River, near Sayanogorsk in Russia, this dam is the largest power plant in the country and the sixth-largest hydroelectric plant in the world.


Mica Dam, Canada

Mica Dam

This 243 meter high dam spans the Colombia River 135 kilometres north of Revelstoke, Canada.


Deriner Dam, Turkey

Deriner Dam

Named after İbrahim Deriner, who died while serving as the Chief Engineer of its research team, the dam is located on the Çoruh River 3 miles east of Artvin, Turkey.


Laxiwa Dam, China

Laxiwa Dam

The Laxiwa Dam is a 250 meter high arch dam on the Yellow River in Qinghai Province, northwest China.


Mauvoisin Dam, Switzerland

Mauvoisin Dam

With Mont Blanc de Cheilon in the background the Mauvoisin Dam creates the Lac de Mauvoisin in the Swiss alps.


Tehri Dam, India

Tehri Dam

This multi-purpose rock and earth-fill embankment dam on the Bhagirathi River near Tehri in Uttarakhand, India is 261 meters high.


Vajont Dam, Italy

Vajont Dam

A disused dam north of Venice, Italy, in 1963 a landslide caused the overtopping of the dam and around 2,000 deaths.


Inguri Dam, Georgia

Inguri Dam

This hydroelectric dam on the Inguri River in Georgia is the second highest concrete arch dam in the world.


Grande Dixence Dam, Switzerland

Grande Dixence Dam

A concrete gravity dam on the Dixence River in Switzerland, at 285 meters it is the tallest of its kind in the world.


Xiaowan Dam, China

Xiaowan Dam

An arch dam on the Lancang (Mekong) River in China, its primary purpose is to provide hydroelectric power.


Nurek Dam, Tajikistan

Nurek Dam

This earth fill embankment dam on the Vakhsh River in Tajikistan is currently the tallest dam in the world at 300 meters.