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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 12, Number 4, April 2017 , pages 723-738

Advanced discretization of rock slope using block theory within the framework of discontinuous deformation analysis
Shuhong Wang, Runqiu Huang, Pengpeng Ni and Seokwon Jeon

    Rock is a heterogeneous material, which introduces complexity in the analysis of rock slopes, since both the existing discontinuities within the rock mass and the intact rock contribute to the degradation of strength. Rock failure is often catastrophic due to the brittle nature of the material, involving the sliding along structural planes and the fracturing of rock bridge. This paper proposes an advanced discretization method of rock mass based on block theory. An in-house software, GeoSMA-3D, has been developed to generate the discrete fracture network (DFN) model, considering both measured and artificial joints. Measured joints are obtained from the photogrammetry analysis on the excavation face. Statistical tools then facilitate to derive artificial joints within the rock mass. Key blocks are searched to provide guidance on potential reinforcement measures. The discretized blocky system is subsequently implemented into a discontinuous deformation analysis (DDA) code. Strength reduction technique is employed to analyze the stability of the slope, where the factor of safety can be obtained once excessive deformation of slope profile is observed. The combined analysis approach also provides the failure mode, which can be used to guide the choice of strengthening strategy if needed. Finally, an illustrated example is presented for the analysis of a rock slope of 20 m height inclined at 60° using combined GeoSMA-3D and DDA calculation.
Key Words
    rock slope; stability analysis; block theory; strength reduction technique; discontinuous deformation analysis (DDA); artificial joints
(1) Shuhong Wang:
Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education on Safe Mining of Deep Metal Mines, School of Resources and Civil Engineering, Northeastern University, Shenyang, 110819, China;
(2) Shuhong Wang, Runqiu Huang:
State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu, 610059, China;
(3) Pengpeng Ni:
GeoEngineering Centre at Queen's-RMC, Department of Civil Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada;
(4) Seokwon Jeon:
GeoEngineering Centre at Queen's-RMC, Department of Civil Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada.

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