The role of creep deformation in pit lake slope stability
Dyson, AP and Moghadam, MS and Zad, A and Tolooiyan, A, The role of creep deformation in pit lake slope stability, Geomechanics and Geophysics for Geo-Energy and Geo-Resources, 8, (5) pp. 1-18. ISSN 2363-8419 (2022) [Refereed Article]
Large-scale open-pit mining activities have profound impacts on the surrounding landscape and environment. At the cessation of open-pit mining, the rehabilitation of large void spaces can be achieved by pit-lake filling, where the water body provides a confining pressure on surrounding mine surfaces, reducing both the likelihood of slope failure and the need for ongoing slope maintenance. Although pit-lakes present a range of long-term benefits, the geotechnical performance of mines containing soft soils that are susceptible to creep under increasing loads due to pit-lake filling is seldom considered. From a geotechnical standpoint, creep induced failure is commonly associated with slow, downslope movements, prior to critical slope failure events. In this research, time-dependent slope stability analyses based on creep-sensitive materials are presented for an open-cut mine undergoing pit-lake filling. Numerical simulation provides a mechanism for the assessment of materials exhibiting soft soil creep constitutive behaviour under various loading conditions due to pit-lake filling. The response of mine surfaces is investigated for various filling regimes, highlighting location-dependent deformation rates, pore pressures and slope Factors of Safety for a large Australian open-pit brown coal mine. Results are presented for two separate creep-sensitive materials, identifying the ability to achieve final, stable landforms for a range of long-term pit-lake conditions.
slope stability, mine rehabilitation, pit lake, soft soil creep