ABSTRACT

Discontinuity is the most important factor to control the stability of rock constructions and underground openings in rock engineering analysis. Changes in geometrical properties of discontinuities do vary the results of analysis. Among all discontinuity properties, shape of the discontinuity is the most debatable one. In some cases, curved-shape discontinuities could be shown due to many reasons such as folding. In order to simplify the analysis, the discontinuities were most often assumed to be planar in pervious researches. Therefore, the objectives of this study are proposing a geometrical modeling method and developing an applicable stability analysis approach for rock slopes containing curved-shape discontinuities. At first, to achieve this purpose, the curved-shape discontinuities modeling method was developed to simulate the geometrical model. Then the ordinary method of slices was used to obtain the factor of safety. Finally, to evaluate the feasibility of the suggested approach and to indicate the importance of its application, a mechanical analysis was applied to a described example and compared with simple limit equilibrium methods that do not consider the curvature parameter. Differences in results indicate that the planar assumption of curved-shape discontinuities leads to significant error and the curvature parameter should be consideredin analyses.

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