Two case studies of excavations in fractured rock

Authors: Mellies, Gabriele
Advisor: Hadjigeorgiou, JohnGrenon, Martin
Abstract: The stability of excavations in fractured rock is influenced among others by the structural order inherent in the rock mass. Various analysis tools are available for stability analysis, but the quality of results depends considerably on the available analysis data and the tools used. In this thesis two case studies of excavations in fractured rock are presented that investigate the influence of structural data representation on the stability analysis. The first case study focused on the stability of a rock slope along a road cut near Fleurimont that has experienced wedge failures. The aim was to find out, if the failures could have been predicted, and to evaluate the probability of wedge failures along the slope. Different limit equilibrium wedge analyses were carried out, including a deterministic back-analysis of two wedge failures and a probabilistic analysis of individual wedges. Furthermore a probabilistic joint system analysis was carried out using 3D joint system models generated out of field data. As part of this work the required analysis data was collected on site. The back-analysis results suggested potential instability of the observed wedges, and the probabilistic approaches confirmed the occurrence of wedge failures along the slope, but also indicated the only low probability for these failures. The results demonstrated that a comprehensive data analysis using various analysis tools is required to reach a reliable assessment of the rock behaviour. The second case study discusses the stability of drifts at Agnico Eagle’s LaRonde underground mine that are affected by large deformations due to rock squeezing. The analysis of the observed drift convergence focused on the generation of a series of numerical 2D finite element models, aiming to reproduce failure mechanism and resulting deformations. The in situ foliation was reproduced by explicitly introducing joints into the model. The required structural data was collected on site. As reference data for the model calibration available convergence data was used. The modelling results reached a good agreement with the observations on site. Both observed characteristic deformation profiles as well as measured deformation magnitudes could be adequately reproduced. It could be demonstrated that the applied numerical model is a useful tool to model the complex squeezing ground conditions observed at the mine. More validation experiments should be carried out, but the method can potentially be used to develop better mine development strategies in similar conditions. Both case studies demonstrated the influence of structural data representation on the data analysis. Furthermore it could be shown that the choice of analysis tools influences the obtained results.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2009
Open Access Date: 16 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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