Session Start Date

5-6-1984

Abstract

The paper describes the failure and reconstruction of an 80 ft. high, 8 acre tailings impoundment in Western North Carolina. The darn was constructed using the upstream method of construction. The coarse fraction of the tailings was used as embankment construction materials; these consisted of coarse to fine sands. The fine fraction tailings consisted of low density, relatively low plasticity, layered fine sands and fine sandy silts with frequent inter bedding of micaceous silty clays. Although a 20.0 ft. section of the darn failed, the fine saturated tailings did not liquefy but rather slumped into the breach. Reconstruction was complicated because there was no convenient access to the toe of the darn. Since this darn had been previously studied and found to be marginally stable, the failure reinforces the need for the engineer to keep accurate records of telephone conversations and other correspondence to help protect himself from having any liability in the failure.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

First Conference

Publisher

University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

5-6-1984

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 1984 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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May 6th, 12:00 AM

Failure of Micaceous Waste Tailings Dam

The paper describes the failure and reconstruction of an 80 ft. high, 8 acre tailings impoundment in Western North Carolina. The darn was constructed using the upstream method of construction. The coarse fraction of the tailings was used as embankment construction materials; these consisted of coarse to fine sands. The fine fraction tailings consisted of low density, relatively low plasticity, layered fine sands and fine sandy silts with frequent inter bedding of micaceous silty clays. Although a 20.0 ft. section of the darn failed, the fine saturated tailings did not liquefy but rather slumped into the breach. Reconstruction was complicated because there was no convenient access to the toe of the darn. Since this darn had been previously studied and found to be marginally stable, the failure reinforces the need for the engineer to keep accurate records of telephone conversations and other correspondence to help protect himself from having any liability in the failure.