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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 15, Number 1, May20 2018 , pages 669-676

Numerical analysis of a complex slope instability: Pseudo-wedge failure
Nima Babanouri and Vahab Sarfarazi

    The \"pseudo-wedge\" failure is a name for a complex instability occurring at the Sarcheshmeh open-pit mine (Iran). The pseudo-wedge failure contains both the rock bridge failure and sliding along pre-existing discontinuities. In this paper, a cross section of the failure area was first modeled using a bonded-particle method. The results indicated development of tensile cracks at the slope toe which explains the freedom of pseudo-wedge blocks to slide. Then, a three-dimensional discrete element method was used to perform a block analysis of the instability. The technique of shear strength reduction was used to calculate the factor of safety. Finally, the influence of geometrical characteristics of the mine wall on the pseudo-wedge failure was investigated. The safety factor significantly increases as the dip and dip direction of the wall decrease, and reaches an acceptable value with a 10-degree decrease of them.
Key Words
    pseudo-wedge failure; bonded-particle model; rock bridge failure; discrete element method; slope stability
Nima Babanouri and Vahab Sarfarazi: Department of Mining Engineering, Hamedan University of Technology, Hamedan, Iran

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