19th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics (USRMS),
Permission to Distribute - American Rock Mechanics Association
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An assessment of the stability of rock slopes involving toppling-sliding mechanisms is imperative for many civil and mining surface excavations. The two-dimensional analysis of such mechanisms has been undertaken by the discrete element method (D.E.M.). Accuracy of the method has been compared with a limiting equilibrium solution for possible toppling sliding failure and resulted in close agreement. The method has been applied to a number of slopes involving potential toppling-sliding failure mechanisms and interesting block motions have been computed under conditions of stability and instability. Calculated block movements highlight the presence of regions in the slope where different block motions occur. These regions consist of i) single or multiple block columns in contact with neighbouring columns only at the top or bottom of the column and ii) dilating tilting sliding zones. Different slope geometries have been analysed and clearly indicate the control that block and slope geometry have on the failure mechanism. Slopes, in which single and double block columns are present are illustrated with their respective block velocities. The bending over of rock beds upon excavation is illustrated for a stable slope. A factor of safety for potential toppling instability is introduced and a method of determining the stability of slopes involving potential toppling-sliding failures is proposed. It is concluded that the discrete element method is a valuable tool for the assessment of slope stability.
The analysis of toppling-sliding mechanisms for determining the stability of rock slopes has only recently received attention. The potential for such mechanisms to occur are illustrated for two situations a) a steep slope in an open pit mine Figure 1 and b) a road cutting in a natural slope, Figure 2. The steep slope illustrated in Figure 1 has a potential toppling sliding mechanisms of failure.
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