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A New Assessment Method for Structural-Control Failure Mechanisms in Rock Slopes — Case Examples

School of Engineering, RMIT University, Victoria 3001, Australia

Special Issues: Mass Movement Processes, Hazards and Risks

Mass movement processes of bedrock slopes are highly dependent on the orientations of structural discontinuities within the rock mass. The associated hazards are typically defined by the orientation of structures and associated mechanisms of slope failure such as planar sliding, wedge sliding and toppling. A typical rock mass with multiple weak surfaces, or discontinuities, may form a consistent pattern over a range of spatial scale. The type of hazard resulting from the pattern of discontinuities will vary according to the angle and direction of the slope face. Assessing the risk of rock slope instability involves understanding of the complex three-dimensional structural features of the rock mass. Recent developments in stereographic methods show advantages are gained by representing wedges by linking great circles rather than showing the intersection line on the stereograph. We applied these methods to three rock slopes where active mass movement has occurred. The case studies include a large rock slide-debris avalanche in the Philippines, coastal cliffs in Australia and mining excavation slopes in Ghana, West Africa.
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Keywords mass movement; hazard; slope instability; rock mass; joints; wedges; sliding; toppling

Citation: John V. Smith, Christian Arnhardt. A New Assessment Method for Structural-Control Failure Mechanisms in Rock Slopes — Case Examples. AIMS Geosciences, 2016, 2(3): 214-230. doi: 10.3934/geosci.2016.3.214


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Copyright Info: 2016, John V. Smith, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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