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Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 2147–2163 | Cite as

3D modeling of stratified and irregularly jointed rock slope and its progressive failure

  • K. Ma
  • C. A. Tang
  • L. C. Li
  • P. G. Ranjith
  • M. Cai
  • N. W. Xu
Original Paper

Abstract

Little has been published on the three-dimensional (3D) simulation of the progressive failure of rock slopes, possibly because the process of failure involves a complex, nonlinear evolution from initiation, through propagation and crack. In addition, rock is typically anisotropic, which makes it difficult to identify and describe the slope constituents and failure processes accurately. Despite such difficulties, further study of the fracture process is just as important as analyzing stress fields in 3D rock slope failures. In this paper, the 3D realistic failure process analysis code using finite element programming, and an extended version of numerical centrifugal method, is used to simulate slopes failure with different dip angles. The numerical centrifugal analysis results in this paper are found that the critical failure surface develops along the weak structural surface when the slope dip angle β is below 30°; conversely, the failure surface is formed along the toe of circular sliding when β is above 30°. In addition, it is also found that whether or not including the irregularity of joint into modeling to analyze the 3D slope stability problem will lead to a significant difference in factors of safety, it can reach 8.41 % at the same slope angle. Furthermore, the acoustic emission analyzing reveals deformed location characters of rock slope during the failure processes. With such capabilities, the approach contributes significantly to the in-depth study of the mechanisms of rock slope instability process.

Keywords

Three-dimensional Failure processes Numerical centrifugal method Critical failure surface Acoustic emission 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 51121005, 51004020, 51174039, 51079017, and 41172265), National Basic Research Program of China (973Program, grant no. 2011CB013503), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities and the Foundation for the Author of National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation of China (no. 200960), and the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NECT-09-0258) are greatly appreciated. In particular, the author is grateful to Professor Hong Li for his helpful guide and opinions during the revise processes. Thanks are also extended to the authors of the references cited in this review for their original contributions. We also thank the reviewers for discerning comments on this paper.

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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Ma
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. A. Tang
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. C. Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. G. Ranjith
    • 3
  • M. Cai
    • 4
  • N. W. Xu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Rock Instability and Seismicity Research, School of Civil EngineeringDalian University of TechnologyDalianPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.The State Key Laboratory of Coastal and Offshore EngineeringDalian University of TechnologyDalianPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Bharti School of EngineeringLaurentian UniversitySudburyCanada

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