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Analysis of Faults' Effect on the Stability of Surface Lignite Mining Areas Using the Distinct Element Method

Abstract : Mining operations can drastically affect the stability of nearby areas. A representative case for this has been the Mavropigi mine, a part of an open-pit lignite mining complex in northwestern Greece. Mavropigi is a vast excavation that has reached 150 m depth and has posed severe challenges and stability issues that caused problems in the area. In 2010, noteworthy surface tension cracks appeared near the excavation, leading to extensive monitoring and countermeasures, while various studies were conducted. The present work aims to revisit the case study of Mavropigi from a different than the previous perspectives. Previous studies were based only on continuum approaches, thus understating or ignoring the effect of discontinuities. Nevertheless, the area has an intense tectonic past and faults that interact with soil movements. In this work, advanced, discontinuous numerical modelling through the distinct element method was used to understand better the role of slope-fault interaction in the case study of Mavropigi and assess the faults' effect on the area's response. The results emphasised the influence of faults on ground movements. The fault's existence increases the impact of the mine operations on the surrounding area significantly and intensifies the possibility of structural damage in nearby constructions. The analysis confirms that the open-pit mine's effect on the surrounding area can be amplified under complex geological conditions, in this case, the presence of faults nearly parallel to the slope inclination.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 9:35:17 AM
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Marwan Al Heib, Ioannis Zevgolis, Alexandros Theocharis, Nikolaos Koukouzas, Stella Coccia. Analysis of Faults' Effect on the Stability of Surface Lignite Mining Areas Using the Distinct Element Method. Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, Springer Verlag, 2021, ⟨10.1007/s10706-021-01964-z⟩. ⟨ineris-03337490⟩



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