Use of the distinct element method to study flexural toppling at the Pico Mine, Brazil

A. L. Pinheiro, F. G. Sobreira, M.S Lana
Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment
Flexural toppling, weak foliated rocks

A stress–strain analysis studying flexural toppling failure in a phyllite mine slope at the Quadrilátero Ferrífero, MG, Brazil is presented in this work. A numerical approach, the discrete element method, capable of representing discontinuous rock mass is used. The modeling of a discontinuous rock mass is complex and problematic.

On the other hand, it better represents failure along discontinuities than do continuum techniques such as the finite element method. There are few studies using discontinuous modeling techniques to perform parametric and back-analyses of these types of mechanisms in weak and fractured rock mass.

Therefore, the analyses herein can contribute to a better understanding of the geomechanical behavior of discontinuities, especially their stiffness. Also, the influence of in situ stresses in the failure mechanism is studied.

Keywords: flexural toppling, weak foliated rocks.

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