Probabilistic Block Theory Analysis for a Rock Slope at an Open Pit Mine in USA
A new formulation is given to conduct a probabilistic block theory analysis. A new computer code (PBTAC) is developed to perform both deterministic and probabilistic block theory analysis. The variability of the discontinuity orientation and shear strength is incorporated in the probabilistic block theory analysis. Discontinuity orientation is treated as a bivariate random variable including the correlation that exists between the dip angle and dip direction. PBTAC code was applied to perform both deterministic and probabilistic block theory analyses for a part of an open pit mine in USA. Needed geological and geotechnical data for the analyses were obtained from field and laboratory investigations. The variability of the discontinuity orientations resulted in important differences between the probabilistic and deterministic block theory analyses results. The results confirmed that the design value selected for the maximum safe slope angle (MSSA) for a particular region in the open pit mine based on the deterministic block theory analysis can be on the unsafe side. In summary, the results showed clearly the superiority of probabilistic block theory analysis over the deterministic block theory analysis in obtaining additional important information with respect to designing rock slopes. The calculated values agree very well with the existing almost stable bench face angles reported by the mining company.
J. Zheng et al., "Probabilistic Block Theory Analysis for a Rock Slope at an Open Pit Mine in USA," Computers and Geotechnics, vol. 61, pp. 254-265, Elsevier Ltd, Sep 2014.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compgeo.2014.06.002
Mining and Nuclear Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Block theory; Instability probability; Open-pit mine; Probabilistic analysis; Rock slope
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
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