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An embankment dam is a massive artificial dam. It is typically created by the placement and compaction of a complex semi-plastic mound of various compositions of soil, sand, clay and/or rock. It has a semi-pervious waterproof natural covering for its surface and a dense, impervious core. This makes such a dam impervious to surface or seepage erosion. Such a dam is composed of fragmented independent material particles. The friction and interaction of particles binds the particles together into a stable mass rather than by the use of a cementing substance.
Source: Wikipedia - Embankment dam