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Evaluation of Safety Factors in Discontinuous Rock
Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Carol Vilarasau, Ignacio; Delahaye, Carlos Héctor; Gens Solé, Antonio; Prat Catalán, Pere
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament d'Enginyeria del Terreny, Cartogràfica i Geofísica
Safety factors for kinematically admissible failure mechanisms in jointed rock masses have been defined with linear and nonlinear failure criteria for rock discontinuities. Data required to compute these safety factors are obtained by means of two finite element analyses of the effects of selfweight and external (structural) loading, respectively. Both types of analysis are closely linked since they share a common geometry. Joint elements are used to simulate the behaviour of rock discontinuities. If kinematically admissible mechanisms are possible under field conditions, the finite element mesh should also allow them to develop. Different aspects of the methodology have been illustrated through the safety evaluation of a 150m high arch dam and its foundation in fractured cretaceous limestone. Special attention has been paid to the modelling of a realistic geometry including three-dimensional rock blocks and discontinuities. The paper discusses the effect of initial state of stress, the evolution of safety as the external load increases and the relation between the defined safety factors. It also provides practical guidelines for conducting this type of analysis in complex situations.
Peer Reviewed
Rock mechanics--Mathematical models
Finite element method
Civil engineering--Safety measures
Safety factor
Discontinous rock
Finite element
Mecànica de roques -- Models matemàtics
Seguretat, Factor de (Enginyeria)
Elements finits, Mètode dels

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