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Three-dimensional slope stability analysis of block sliding slope failure at the Pikeview Quarry, El Paso County, Colorado

Mining Engineering , 2018, Vol. 70, No. 3, pp. 41-45

Varnier, J.-B. C.; Cremeens, J.A.; Overton, D.D.



Slope failures that occurred in 2008 and 2009 at the Pikeview Quarry in El Paso County in Colorado in the United States were investigated using three-dimensional discrete element modeling methods. Large-scale block sliding failures occurred along weak bedding planes that dip steeply into an excavation located at the toe of the slope. Several mining sequences at the toe of the slope were simulated to evaluate the effects of various degrees of extraction and backfill on slope stability. Slope stability back-analysis was conducted using pre-failure and post-failure conditions to determine the joint shear strength properties. Laboratory testing was also conducted to determine intact rock properties. Three-dimensional discrete element analysis was uniquely applicable to this evaluation because it allowed representation of shear stress of the basal sliding surface and afforded evaluation of several scenarios of extraction and backfill at the toe of the slope.