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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.
CitationAlonso, E.E. [et al.]. Evaluation of Safety Factors in Discontinuous Rock. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences and Geomechanics Abstracts (1996, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 513-537).
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