Mechanism of toppling and deformation in hard rock slope: a case of bank slope of Hydropower Station, Qinghai Province, China
Recently, various toppling slopes have emerged with the development of hydropower projects in the western mountainous regions of China. The slope on the right bank of the Laxiwa Hydropower Station, located on the mainstream of the Yellow River in the Qinghai Province of Northwest China, is a typical hard rock slope. Further, its deformation characteristics are different from those of common natural hard rock toppling. Because this slope is located close to the dam of the hydropower station, its deformation mechanism has a practical significance. Based on detailed geological engineering surveys, four stages of deformation have been identified using discrete element numerical software and geological engineering analysis methods, including toppling creep, initial toppling deformation, intensified toppling deformation, and current slope formation. The spatial and time-related deformation of this site also exhibited four stages, including initial toppling, toppling development, intensification of toppling, and disintegration and collapse. Subsequently, the mechanism of toppling and deformation of the bank slope were studied. The results of this study exhibit important reference value for developing the prevention-control design of toppling and for ensuring operational safety in the hydropower reservoir area.
Keywords: Laxiwa Hydropower Station, Hard rock slope, Toppling, Deformation mechanism, Discrete element method, Slope failure