Gordon Dam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gordon Dam
Gordon Dam.jpg
Location SW Tasmania, Australia
Coordinates 42°43′50″S 145°58′35″E / 42.73056°S 145.97639°E / -42.73056; 145.97639Coordinates: 42°43′50″S 145°58′35″E / 42.73056°S 145.97639°E / -42.73056; 145.97639
Opening date 1978
Owner(s) Hydro Tasmania
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Arch dam
Impounds Gordon River
Height 140 m (459 ft)
Length 192 m (630 ft)
Width (base) 18 m (59 ft)
Creates Lake Gordon
Total capacity 12.5 km3 (3.0 cu mi)
Surface area 272 km2 (105 sq mi)
Power station
Turbines 3 × 144 MW
Installed capacity 432 MW

The Gordon Dam (also known as Gordon River Dam), is a double curvature arch dam on the Gordon River in Tasmania, Australia.

The dam has a length of 192 metres (630 ft), and a height of 140 metres (460 ft),[1] making it the tallest dam in Tasmania and the fifth-tallest in Australia.[2]

Power station[edit]

Water from the dam drops 183 metres (600 ft) underground into its power station, where three turbines of 144 megawatts (193,000 hp) generating up to 432 megawatts (579,000 hp) of power, covering about 13% of the electricity demand of Tasmania.[3] The first two turbines were commissioned in 1978, before the third was commissioned a decade later in 1988.[4]

The power station is fuelled by water from Lake Gordon. Water from Lake Pedder is also drawn into Lake Gordon through the McPartlans Pass Canal at 42°50′51″S 146°11′45″E / 42.84750°S 146.19583°E / -42.84750; 146.19583 (McPartlans Pass Canal).


Gordon Dam bridge
Carries Pedestrians[5]
Width 2.7 metres (8 ft 10 in)

In 1963, the Federal Government of Australia provided a A$5 million grant to Tasmania's Hydro-Electric Commission to build the Gordon River Road from Maydena into the Gordon River area in the South West Wilderness region.[6] Construction was underway by 1964, and within three years, the Tasmanian State Parliament approved the Gordon River Power Development with little in house opposition in 1967.

The completed Gordon Dam was the only dam built on the Gordon River, despite the support of Tasmanian politicians such as Eric Reece, Robyn Gray, and others to build the Franklin Dam further downstream.

The dam was designed with Dr. Sergio Guidici as the chief engineer. He went on to be involved with the design of the Crotty Dam in the West Coast Range, one of the last significant dams created by Hydro Tasmania during its unabated dam-building era.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gordon_Power_Station Fact Sheet" (PDF). hydro.com.au. 
  2. ^ "Australia's Highest Dams" (PDF). The Australian National Committee on Large Dams Incorporated. Retrieved 2008-04-07. The five tallest dams listed in order of decreasing height are: Dartmouth Dam, 180 metres (590 ft), Victoria; Thomson River Dam, 166 metres (545 ft), Victoria; Talbingo Dam, 162 metres (531 ft), NSW; Warragamba Dam, 142 metres (466 ft), NSW; Gordon Dam, 140 metres (460 ft), Tasmania 
  3. ^ "The Gordon Catchment". 
  4. ^ "Engineers Australia". National Engineering Landmark explanatory pdf. 
  5. ^ "Southwest National Park". 
  6. ^ Thompson, Peter (1981) Power In Tasmania ACF ISBN 0-85802-064-5 pp.19