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Prediction and Assessment of Lateral Displacement of Rock Mass Along the Length of the Horseshoe Cavern – A Numerical Modelling Approach

Saikat Kuili, Vedala Rama Sastry Rama Sastry


The stability of the underground structures is a key to successful underground mining. Caverns are large underground openings constructed in rock mass for a variety of purposes. The properties of intact rock mass are generally overshadowed by the properties of discontinuities, if the discontinuities are present. Mechanisms of deformation and failure of underground openings in jointed rock mass are determined by the characteristics of the geometrical distribution of discontinuities. This paper presents stability studies of a horseshoe cavern carried out using 3-Dimensional Distinct Element Code (3DEC). The horseshoe cavern has been created in a granitic formation which has a rock mass rating (RMR) value 65. Discontinuities were invoked into the model in the form of horizontal joint set, horizontal and vertical joint sets, horizontal and oblique joint sets and horizontal, vertical and oblique joint sets. Behaviour of the cavern was analysed under varied conditions, in terms of deformations at different locations in the cavern. Comparative analysis was carried out to find the relation between the horizontal displacements at all specified points for the models having intact rock mass as well as discontinuities using distinct element method.

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