Rock mass is known to exchange energy with the external environment when it is under load until it fails, a destabilization phenomenon driven by energy. In order to investigate the energy evolution of high rock slope and its relation with rock mass failure of the slope during slope excavation and after reinforcement, a parameter called microseismic energy density was proposed and the relationship between microseismic energy density and the stress and strain of rock mass was discussed. Taking right bank slope of the Dagangshan Hydropower station as an example, the microseismic energy release and energy transference of rock mass during slope excavation and after reinforcement were revealed. These lead to conclusions: Firstly, not only the distribution and intensity of microseismicity but also the potential dangerous area of the slope can be determined synthetically by microseismic energy density. Secondly, the distribution of high energy release zones is closely related to the locations of the deep unloading fracture zones XL316–1 and the fault f231 moderately dipping out of the slope. Finally, the microseismic event rate and energy density decreased significantly after reinforcing, and the relative high energy release zones transferred to the edge of anti-shear tunnels and low-threat faults, dikes in the deeper area of the slope, so its mechanical behavior was obviously improved. Conclusions can provide references for developing energy criterion and the prediction method of high rock slope failure.

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