The central angle of the horizontal arch is an important parameter in the design of arch dams. It has great influence on the stress, sliding stability and cost of dam. It is well known that when the arch is assumed to be a circular hoop, neglecting the moment and the deformation of foundation, the optimum central angle of the arch is 133.56° [1].

In this paper, it is shown that when the moment, the deformation of foundation and the sliding stability condition are considered, the optimum central angle of the arch is the biggest central angle allowed by the sliding stability condition of the rock foundation.

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