Concepts Used to Analyze and Determine Rock Slope Stability for Mining & Civil Engineering Applications
AuthorUreel, Scott Daniel
KeywordsMining Geological & Geophysical Engineering
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractSlope stability plays an important role in rock engineering. During the design, construction and post design phases of rock slope stability, engineers and geologists need to pay close attention to the rock conditions within the rock slope to prevent slope failures, protect employees and maintain economic profit. This dissertation is based on a general four step procedure to construct and maintain rock slope stability with confidence. These four steps include field investigations, material testing and rock strength database, slope modelling and slope monitoring. The author provides past, present and alternatives methods for each step for the introduced slope stability procedure. Specific topics within each step are investigated displaying results, recommendations and conclusions. Step one involves data collection during field investigations for rock slope design. Orientation of rock core during drilling programs has become extremely pertinent and important for slope stability and underground mining operations. Orientation is needed to provide essential data to describe the structure and properties of discontinuities encountered during the design process to understand favourable and unfavourable conditions within a rock slope and underground openings. This chapter examines and discusses the limitations and benefits of four methods of obtaining borehole discontinuity orientations from drilling programs including clay-imprint, ACT I, II, III Reflex, EZY-MARK, and OBI/ABI Televiewer systems. Results, recommendations and conclusions are provided in this study. During step two to maintain rock slope stability, a rock strength database was created and used to correlate and compare RQD values to rock abrasion, shear strength and other rock characterization methods. Rock abrasion plays a significant role in geotechnical design, tunneling operations and the safety of foundations from scour; however, rock abrasion can be used to develop higher confidence in important parameters such as RQD and hardness. More rock abrasivity research is needed to provide a more accurate and compatible method for all subsurface material properties used in mining and civil engineering projects. This report will provide simple correlations relating abrasion resistance to RQD, UCS, Geological Strength Index (GSI) and Rock Mass Rating (RMR) of metamorphic rock. Results, discussions and conclusions are provided. Step 3 to determine rock slope stability entails utilizing computer modeling to predict failure conditions and wear rock mass properties. Computer modeling and slope monitoring for rock slopes have become essential to assess factor of safety (FOS) values to predict slope instability and estimate potential failure. When utilizing computer models, the limit equilibrium method (LEM) provides FOS values according to force and moment equilibrium; the shear strength reduction (SSR) technique calculates FOS using stress- and deformation-based analyses. Currently, both methods are prevalent in the engineering industry and applied by geotechnical engineers to analyze and determine stability in rock slopes for mining and civil engineering projects. Slope modeling techniques are then used to observe slope conditions and predict when slope failure may occur (FOS = 1.0). Comparison, results and conclusions are presented. Lastly, the dissertation (step 4: slope monitoring) will investigate past studies of FOS comparisons, review calculation methods and provide procedures and results using remote sensing data. The main objective of the dissertation is to provide engineers with essential information needed to ensure high confidence in factor of safety predictions and how alternative methods can be utilized. Recommendations, future research and conclusions regarding FOS and slope monitoring are provided within the dissertation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Mining Geological & Geophysical Engineering