Deterministic and probabilistic treatments of multiplanar pitwall failures at Himmetoglu (Turkey) coal mine

Tuncay E., Ulusay R.

CANADIAN GEOTECHNICAL JOURNAL, vol.38, no.4, pp.828-849, 2001 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Doi Number: 10.1139/t01-015
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.828-849
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This paper describes the investigation of a large and progressive slope failure in the south sidewall of the Himmetoglu coal mine in northwest Turkey. A number of slope instabilities leading to interruptions in mining have been experienced at the mine. Geotechnical investigations consisted of structural mapping, observations of instabilities, review of detailed groundwater information, long-term monitoring of slope movement, and back-analysis of the various failure modes. Deterministic and probabilistic approaches based on the limiting-equilibrium method were employed to examine various slope profiles and excavation sequences for achieving better stability conditions. Analysis of the movement monitoring records and geotechnical information indicated that the failure of the south sidewall slope developed by a combination of sliding along the bedding planes in the hanging wall and faults in the mode of multiplanar sliding. The movement history and the results from the back-analysis of the failures revealed that the stability of the slope was highly sensitive to changes in the length of the lower part of the sliding surface, and the shear strength reduced to residual values along the discontinuity surfaces 8-10 m above the coal seam at the time of failure. The results of the analysis both from deterministic and probabilistic approaches suggest that an excavation sequence consisting of a number of stripping stages from the uppermost benches and advancing to the toe of the slope may provide the resistance to stabilize the overall slope. Simple and preliminary economic assessments based on the overburden costs in conjunction with the deterministic and probabilistic approaches are briefly discussed.