Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Search results for: slope stability.

5 Effect of Moisture Content Compaction in the Geometry Definition of Earth Dams

Authors: Julian B. García, Virginie Q. R. Pinto, André P. Assis

Abstract:

This paper presents numerical flow and slope stability simulations in three typical sections of earth dams built in tropical regions, two homogeneous with different slope inclinations, and the other one heterogeneous with impermeable core. The geotechnical material parameters used in this work were obtained from a lab testing of physical characterization, compaction, consolidation, variable load permeability and saturated triaxial type CD for compacted soil samples with standard proctor energy at optimum moisture content (23%), optimum moisture content + 2% and optimum moisture content +5%. The objective is to analyze the general behavior of earth dams built in rainy regions where optimum moisture is exceeded. The factor of safety is satisfactory for the three sections compacted in all moisture content during the stages of operation and end of construction. On The other hand, the rapid drawdown condition is the critical phase for homogeneus dams configuration, the factor of safety obtained were unsatisfactory. In general, the heterogeneous dam behavior is more efficient due to the fact that the slopes are made up of gravel, which favors the dissipation of pore pressures during the rapid drawdown. For the critical phase, the slopes should have lower inclinations of the upstream and downstream slopes to guarantee stability, although it increases the costs.

Keywords: Earth dams, flow, moisture content, slope stability.

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4 Considerations for Effectively Using Probability of Failure as a Means of Slope Design Appraisal for Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Rock Masses

Authors: Neil Bar, Andrew Heweston

Abstract:

Probability of failure (PF) often appears alongside factor of safety (FS) in design acceptance criteria for rock slope, underground excavation and open pit mine designs. However, the design acceptance criteria generally provide no guidance relating to how PF should be calculated for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses, or what qualifies a ‘reasonable’ PF assessment for a given slope design. Observational and kinematic methods were widely used in the 1990s until advances in computing permitted the routine use of numerical modelling. In the 2000s and early 2010s, PF in numerical models was generally calculated using the point estimate method. More recently, some limit equilibrium analysis software offer statistical parameter inputs along with Monte-Carlo or Latin-Hypercube sampling methods to automatically calculate PF. Factors including rock type and density, weathering and alteration, intact rock strength, rock mass quality and shear strength, the location and orientation of geologic structure, shear strength of geologic structure and groundwater pore pressure influence the stability of rock slopes. Significant engineering and geological judgment, interpretation and data interpolation is usually applied in determining these factors and amalgamating them into a geotechnical model which can then be analysed. Most factors are estimated ‘approximately’ or with allowances for some variability rather than ‘exactly’. When it comes to numerical modelling, some of these factors are then treated deterministically (i.e. as exact values), while others have probabilistic inputs based on the user’s discretion and understanding of the problem being analysed. This paper discusses the importance of understanding the key aspects of slope design for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses and how they can be translated into reasonable PF assessments where the data permits. A case study from a large open pit gold mine in a complex geological setting in Western Australia is presented to illustrate how PF can be calculated using different methods and obtain markedly different results. Ultimately sound engineering judgement and logic is often required to decipher the true meaning and significance (if any) of some PF results.

Keywords: Probability of failure, point estimate method, Monte-Carlo simulations, sensitivity analysis, slope stability.

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3 Numerical Modelling of Shear Zone and Its Implications on Slope Instability at Letšeng Diamond Open Pit Mine, Lesotho

Authors: M. Ntšolo, D. Kalumba, N. Lefu, G. Letlatsa

Abstract:

Rock mass damage due to shear tectonic activity has been investigated largely in geoscience where fluid transport is of major interest. However, little has been studied on the effect of shear zones on rock mass behavior and its impact on stability of rock slopes. At Letšeng Diamonds open pit mine in Lesotho, the shear zone composed of sheared kimberlite material, calcite and altered basalt is forming part of the haul ramp into the main pit cut 3. The alarming rate at which the shear zone is deteriorating has triggered concerns about both local and global stability of pit the walls. This study presents the numerical modelling of the open pit slope affected by shear zone at Letšeng Diamond Mine (LDM). Analysis of the slope involved development of the slope model by using a two-dimensional finite element code RS2. Interfaces between shear zone and host rock were represented by special joint elements incorporated in the finite element code. The analysis of structural geological mapping data provided a good platform to understand the joint network. Major joints including shear zone were incorporated into the model for simulation. This approach proved successful by demonstrating that continuum modelling can be used to evaluate evolution of stresses, strain, plastic yielding and failure mechanisms that are consistent with field observations. Structural control due to geological shear zone structure proved to be important in its location, size and orientation. Furthermore, the model analyzed slope deformation and sliding possibility along shear zone interfaces. This type of approach can predict shear zone deformation and failure mechanism, hence mitigation strategies can be deployed for safety of human lives and property within mine pits.

Keywords: Numerical modeling, open pit mine, shear zone, slope stability.

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2 Comparison between Deterministic and Probabilistic Stability Analysis, Featuring Consequent Risk Assessment

Authors: Isabela Moreira Queiroz

Abstract:

Slope stability analyses are largely carried out by deterministic methods and evaluated through a single security factor. Although it is known that the geotechnical parameters can present great dispersal, such analyses are considered fixed and known. The probabilistic methods, in turn, incorporate the variability of input key parameters (random variables), resulting in a range of values of safety factors, thus enabling the determination of the probability of failure, which is an essential parameter in the calculation of the risk (probability multiplied by the consequence of the event). Among the probabilistic methods, there are three frequently used methods in geotechnical society: FOSM (First-Order, Second-Moment), Rosenblueth (Point Estimates) and Monte Carlo. This paper presents a comparison between the results from deterministic and probabilistic analyses (FOSM method, Monte Carlo and Rosenblueth) applied to a hypothetical slope. The end was held to evaluate the behavior of the slope and consequent risk analysis, which is used to calculate the risk and analyze their mitigation and control solutions. It can be observed that the results obtained by the three probabilistic methods were quite close. It should be noticed that the calculation of the risk makes it possible to list the priority to the implementation of mitigation measures. Therefore, it is recommended to do a good assessment of the geological-geotechnical model incorporating the uncertainty in viability, design, construction, operation and closure by means of risk management. 

Keywords: Probabilistic methods, risk assessment, risk management, slope stability.

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1 Soil Mass Loss Reduction during Rainfalls by Reinforcing the Slopes with the Surficial Confinement

Authors: Ramli Nazir, Hossein Moayedi

Abstract:

Soil confinement systems serve as effective solutions to any erosion control project. Various confinements systems, namely triangular, circular and rectangular with the size of 50, 100, and 150 mm, and with a depth of 10 mm, were embedded in soil samples at slope angle of 60°. The observed soil mass losses for the confined soil systems were much smaller than those from unconfined system. As a result, the size of confinement and rainfall intensity have a direct effect on the soil mass loss. The triangular and rectangular confinement systems showed the lowest and highest soil loss masses, respectively. The slopes also failed much faster in the unconfined system than in the confined slope.

Keywords: Erosion control, Soil confinement, Soil erosion, Slope stability.

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