This project is a collaborative research effort between Northwestern University (NWU) and the University of Wisconsin (UW) on the effect of material fracture properties and fracture energy to the safety margins of a concrete dam. This comprehensive laboratory test program and the associated finite element analysis of test specimens with interelement cracks will fill a major knowledge gap concerning evaluation of dam safety. Theoretical investigation and small scale testing will be done at NWU and the large scale testing will be done at UW. Throughout the project period researchers at both institutions will work as a team towards theory development, fracture property determination, tests of specimens, evaluation and analysis. This study will make significant contributions to crack initiation and propagation in concrete dams and will advance the basic understanding of the fracture processes and of dam behavior.