Published February 7, 2023 | Version v1
Dataset Open

Global Dam Tracker: A database of more than 35,000 dams with location, catchment, and attribute information

  • 1. Washington and Lee University
  • 2. Georgia Institute of Technology



Zhang, Alice Tianbo, and Vincent Xinyi Gu. 2023. “Global Dam Tracker: A Database of More than 35,000 Dams with Location, Catchment, and Attribute Information.” Scientific Data 10 (1): 111.



We present one of the most comprehensive geo-referenced global dam databases to date. The Global Dam Tracker (GDAT) contains 35,000 dams with cross-validated geo-coordinates, satellite-derived catchment areas, and detailed attribute information. Combining GDAT with fine-scaled satellite data spanning three decades, we demonstrate how GDAT improves upon existing databases to enable the inter-temporal analysis of the costs and benefits of dam construction on a global scale. Our findings show that over the past three decades, dams have contributed to a dramatic increase in global surface water coverage, especially in developing countries in Asia and South America. This is an important step toward a more systematic understanding of the worldwide impact of dams on local communities. By filling in the data gap, GDAT would help inform a more sustainable and equitable approach to energy access and economic development.


Files (14.3 MB)

Name Size Download all
14.3 MB Preview Download

Additional details

Related works

Is published in
Journal article: 10.1038/s41597-023-02008-2 (DOI)