The Scotts Peak Dam is a rockfill embankment dam without a spillway across the Huon River, located in the South West region of Tasmania, Australia.

Scotts Peak Dam
Scotts Peak Dam is located in Tasmania
Scotts Peak Dam
Location of the Edgar Dam in Tasmania
LocationSouth West Tasmania
Coordinates43°01′52″S 146°17′46″E / 43.03111°S 146.29611°E / -43.03111; 146.29611Coordinates: 43°01′52″S 146°17′46″E / 43.03111°S 146.29611°E / -43.03111; 146.29611
Opening date1973 (1973)
Owner(s)Hydro Tasmania
Dam and spillways
Type of damEmbankment dam
ImpoundsHuon River
Height43 metres (141 ft)
Length1,067 metres (3,501 ft)
Dam volume584×10^3 m3 (20.6×10^6 cu ft)
CreatesLake Pedder
Total capacity2,937,930 ML (103,752×10^6 cu ft)
Catchment area734 km2 (283 sq mi)
Surface area242 km2 (93 sq mi)
Maximum water depth43 m (141 ft)

The impounded reservoir, also formed with the Edgar Dam and the Serpentine Dam, is called Lake Pedder which flooded Lake Edgar, a naturally forming fault scarp pond. The dam was constructed in 1973 by the Hydro Electric Corporation (TAS) as part of the Gordon River Power Development Scheme for the purpose of generating hydro-electric power via the conventional Gordon Power Station. Water from Lake Pedder is diverted to Lake Gordon (formed by the Gordon Dam) via the McPartlan Pass Canal.[2][3][4]

Location and featuresEdit

The Scotts Peak Dam, together with the Edgar Dam and the Serpentine Dam, are three major dams that form the headwaters for the Gordon River Power Development Scheme. The dam is located near Lake Pedder's most easterly point[5] in the upper reaches of the Huon River where the river descends from the Marsden Range and descends into what is now known as the Huon Basin. Also at the southern end of the Lake Pedder, the Scotts Peak Dam impounds the upper reaches of the Huon River. At the northwestern end of the lake is impounded by the Serpentine Dam across the Serpentine River. The water in Lake Pedder provides around 40% of the water used in the Gordon Power Station. The water flows to Lake Gordon via McPartlan Canal.[2] Water from Lake Gordon then exits through the Gordon Dam.

Built on a foundation of rock and soil, the Scotts Peak Dam wall was constructed with 584 thousand cubic metres (20.6×10^6 cu ft) of rockfill and faced with asphalt. The dam wall is 43 metres (141 ft) high and 1,067 metres (3,501 ft) long. At 100% capacity the dam wall holds back 2,937,930 megalitres (103,752×10^6 cu ft) of water. The surface area of Lake Pedder is 241,330 hectares (596,300 acres) and the catchment area is 734 square kilometres (283 sq mi). The dam wall does not have a spillway.[1]

This non-hydroelectric dam helps retain water in the new impoundment, which then flows to Lake Gordon via 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). In 2001 the dam was recorded as an Historic Engineering Marker along with twenty-four other dams by Engineers Australia.[3]


The construction of Scotts Peak Dam was controversial as it was built to flood Lake Pedder and extend the reservoir for the Gordon Dam. A small greens movement was formed it response, which mobilised in the 1980s to stop the proposed Franklin River Dam.[6]


In the 2008 edition of Ticklebelly Tales engineers associated with the dam acknowledge that there were issues leaks as soon as it was built,[7][8][9] Evidence of deformation is still current in 2010s.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Register of Large Dams in Australia" (Excel (requires download)). Dams information. Australian National Committee on Large Dams. 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Gordon - Pedder". Energy: Our power stations. Hydro Tasmania. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Scotts Peak Dam, Tasmania" (PDF). Submission for an Historic Engineering Marker. Engineers Australia. April 2000. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  4. ^ Reid, Vern (1976). "Sealing Scott's Peak Dam". Tasmanian Year Book (B&W photo). Tasmania: Australian Bureau of Statistics. p. 249. ISSN 0082-2116.
  5. ^ "Edgar Dam camp ground". Community. Hydro Tasmania. 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  6. ^ Stephen, Sarah (18 November 1992), "10th anniversary of the Franklin blockade", Green Left Weekly, Sydney, no. 80, retrieved 9 August 2011
  7. ^ Felton, Heather; Hydro Tasmania (2008), Ticklebelly tales and other stories from the people of the Hydro, Hydro Tasmania, ISBN 978-0-646-47724-4 page 458 - John Wilkins and Bruce Cole mentioned in relation to design and problem solving in the early 1970s, as well as the 1974 identified large hole in the bitumen wall
  8. ^ Cole, BA (1976), "Wave Wall Design for Scotts Peak Dam", Annual Engineering Conference 1976: Engineering 1976-2001, Institution of Engineers, Australia: 126–133, ISBN 978-0-85825-058-1
  9. ^ Roberts, GT; Cole, BA; Barnett, RHW (1975), "Engineering Geology of Scotts Peak Dam and Adjacent Reservoir Watertightness", Annual Engineering Conference 1975: Papers, Institution of Engineers, Australia: 152–159, ISBN 978-0-85828-045-8