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Elastic-plastic Stability Analysis of Mine-waste Embankments.

Corp EL; Schuster RL; McDonald MM
NTIS: PB 249 694 :98 pages
Seepage forces computed by a finite-element flow program are combined with gravity forces in an elastic-plastic stress-analysis program to determine the stability of mine-waste slopes. Computer output provides a cross-sectional plot of the dam or embankment showing the safety factors for each element. The combined finite- element program called seep-slope was used to analyze several trial embankments and the 1972 Buffalo Creek dam failure. Safety factors computed by the finite-element method (fem) were compared with those computed by bishop limiting-equilibrium method. For individual slip circles, there was little correlation between the factors of safety computed by the two methods. Both predict failure, but fem shows a different mode of failure plus development of potential failure zones not indicated by conventional methods. Besides having a better theoretical basis than the bishop method, fem requires no assumptions regarding the location or geometry of the failure surface. As a result, the program will show progressive development of a failure zone, and areas can be pinpointed where remedial measures should be taken. In addition, nonhomogeneous cross sections can be analyzed, and zones of potential piping can be defined.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigations
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
RI 8069
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NTIS: PB 249 694
Page last reviewed: October 29, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division