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3D key-group method for slope stability analysis

M. Noroozi
S. E. Jalali
A. R. Yarahmadi-Bafghi
Journal / Anthology

Year: 2012
Volume: 36
Page range: 1780–1792

Because of the simplicity and the speed of execution, methods used in static stability analyses have yet remained relevant. The key-block method, which is the most famous of them, is used for the stability analysis of fractured rock masses. The KBM method is just based on finding key blocks, and if no such blocks are found to be unstable, it is concluded that the whole of the rock mass is stable. Literally, though groups of ‘stable’ blocks are taken together into account, in some cases, it may prove to be unstable. An iterative and progressive stability analysis of the discontinuous rock slopes can be performed using the keygroup method, in which groups of collapsible blocks are combined. This method is literally a twodimensional (2D) limit equilibrium approach. Because of the normally conservational results of 2D analysis, a three-dimensional (3D) analysis seems to be necessary. In this paper, the 2D key-group method is developed into three dimensions so that a more literal analysis of a fractured rock mass can be performed. Using Mathematica software, a computer program was prepared to implement the proposed methodology on a real case. Then, in order to assess the proposed 3D procedure, its implementation results are compared with the outcomes of the 2D key-group method. Finally, tectonic block No.2 of Choghart open pit mine was investigated as a case study using the proposed 3D methodology. Results of the comparison revealed that the outcomes of the 3D analysis of this block conform to the reality and the results of 2D analysis.


slope stability analysis, key-block method, key-group method, choghart open pit