Characteristics and Mechanisms of Highwall Failures in Surface Coal Mines, Bowen Basin, Queensland

Wooltorton B,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1981
Highwall failures in surface coal mines in Queensland occur as circular slips through weak and weathered material, or as bilinear slides on sub-horizontal surfaces and steeply dipping joints. Weak horizontal planes occur in the Permian-Tertiary unconformity or on bedding surfaces within the Permian Coal Measures. Sub-vertical movements occur along rock joints and tension cracks induced by stress relaxation after excavation. Blasting also introduces new fractures and causes movement along existing rock discontinuities. Critical factors for stability include the dip direction of potential failure surfaces, shear strength of the rocks, damage due to blasting prior to highwall excavation, groundwater conditions, the type and performance of clays on shear surfaces, and pit geometry.
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