Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 621–642 | Cite as

The Dynamic Evaluation of Rock Slope Stability Considering the Effects of Microseismic Damage

  • N. W. Xu
  • F. Dai
  • Z. Z. Liang
  • Z. Zhou
  • C. Sha
  • C. A. Tang
Original Paper


A state-of-the-art microseismic monitoring system has been implemented at the left bank slope of the Jinping first stage hydropower station since June 2009. The main objectives are to ensure slope safety under continuous excavation at the left slope, and, very recently, the safety of the concrete arch dam. The safety of the excavated slope is investigated through the development of fast and accurate real-time event location techniques aimed at assessing the evolution and migration of the seismic activity, as well as through the development of prediction capabilities for rock slope instability. Myriads of seismic events at the slope have been recorded by the microseismic monitoring system. Regions of damaged rock mass have been identified and delineated on the basis of the tempo-spatial distribution analysis of microseismic activity during the periods of excavation and consolidation grouting. However, how to effectively utilize the abundant microseismic data in order to quantify the stability of the slope remains a challenge. In this paper, a rock mass damage evolutional model based on microseismic data is proposed, combined with a 3D finite element method (FEM) model for feedback analysis of the left bank slope stability. The model elements with microseismic damage are interrogated and the deteriorated mechanical parameters determined accordingly. The relationship between microseismic activities induced by rock mass damage during slope instability, strength degradation, and dynamic instability of the slope are explored, and the slope stability is quantitatively evaluated. The results indicate that a constitutive relation considering microseismic damage is concordant with the simulation results and the influence of rock mass damage can be allowed for its feedback analysis of 3D slope stability. In addition, the safety coefficient of the rock slope considering microseismic damage is reduced by a value of 0.11, in comparison to the virgin rock slope model. Our results demonstrate that microseismic activity induced by construction disturbance only slightly affects the stability of the slope. The proposed feedback analysis technique provides a novel method for dynamically assessing rock slope stability and can be used to assess the slope stability of other similar rock slopes.


Jinping first stage hydropower station Rock slope stability Microseismic damage Feedback analysis Centrifugal loading method 



The authors are grateful for the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51209127), the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, No. 2011CB013503), the Excellent Young Scholar Plan of Sichuan University (No. 2012SCU04A07), the Young Teachers’ Plan of Sichuan University (No. 2012SCU11062), and the innovative research team of Sichuan province (No. 13TD0039). The authors are thankful to the two anonymous referees and Professor Giovanni Barla for their valuable comments and suggestions devoted to improving the quality of our manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. W. Xu
    • 1
  • F. Dai
    • 1
  • Z. Z. Liang
    • 2
  • Z. Zhou
    • 3
  • C. Sha
    • 3
  • C. A. Tang
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, College of Water Resources and HydropowerSichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Civil EngineeringDalian University of TechnologyDalianPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.HydroChina Chengdu Engineering CorporationChengduPeople’s Republic of China

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