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Section I

Criteria to Assess Rock Quarry Slope Stability and Design in Landslide Vulnerable Areas of Sri Lanka: A Case Study at Thalathu Oya Rock Quarry

Authors:

M. N. C. Samarawickrama ,

The Open University of Sri Lanka, LK
About M. N. C.
Eng., C. Eng., MIE(Sri Lanka), MGS (SL), B.Sc. Eng. Hons.(Moratuwa), M.Sc. (Peradeniya), MBA (Moratuwa),
Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering
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U. B. Amarasinghe,

University of Peradenya, LK
About U. B.
B.Sc.(Sp.) Hons. (Geol.) (Peradeniya), M.Sc. (AIT), MGS (SL),
Senior Lecturer in Geology, Department of Geology,
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K. N. Bandaraa

National Building Research Organisation, LK
About K. N.
B.Sc.(Sp.) Hons. (Geol.) (Peradeniya), M.Sc. (AIT), MGS (SL),
Director, Geotechnical Engineering and Testing Division
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Abstract

The ultimate causative factor for the failure is rapid removal of toe support of the slope due to unplanned mining accompanied with uncontrolled blasting. There is also a natural causative factor behind, a naturally formed highly weathered slip surface, where along the slope failure has taken place. Secondary discontinuity created along the well-developed foliation plane due to an earlier disturbance of rock mass along kinematically more unstable joint planes, is the inception. This has turned into a weaker plane by groundwater seepage for a very long period facilitated by drainage pattern of the area. Intense weathering features of failure zone, chert particles found from the slip surface are good indications for this factor. Furthermore, it was identified that, the shear strength of rock joints can conveniently and rapidly be determined using Rock Mass Rating System and Empirical Equations. Even though these methods provide more conservative values, results will be very useful in initial design work. Results show that the back analysis method is more reliable compared to above two but is conditional as a similar type of a failure need to occur in the same rock mass in order to employ this method. Moreover, it was revealed that Barton‟s theorem can be effectively applied for local rock masses in determining the shear strength of discontinuities and is reliable in using at lower stress levels. When considering the stability of remaining slopes of the same site, these are highly venerable for same type of failure at any moment. According to site geometrical parameters and shear strength parameters found out from back analysis reveals that the natural factor of safety is only around 1.0 for slopes that remain hanging at this site. Further, study reveals that, the most economical method of stabilizing these existing unstable areas in the site is by reduction of the slope height with the use of controlled blasting techniques.

 

ENGINEER, Vol. 47, No. 03, pp. 49-58, 2014

How to Cite: Samarawickrama, M.N.C., Amarasinghe, U.B. & Bandaraa, K.N., (2014). Criteria to Assess Rock Quarry Slope Stability and Design in Landslide Vulnerable Areas of Sri Lanka: A Case Study at Thalathu Oya Rock Quarry. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka. 47(3), pp.49–58. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/engineer.v47i3.6894
Published on 21 Jul 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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