Stability of high narrow backfills

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 82, No. 921, 1989
R.J. Mitchell, Queen's University
Abstract High narrow backfills of significant strike length approach the stress conditions associated with a free standing wall but this lower bound design approach is not considered efficient for earth structures. This paper considers the design of high narrow backfills using upper bound limit analysis, retaining wall theory with backfill arching and centrifuge model tests. Complex toe support situations pertaining to operational factors at Falconbridge's Lockerby Mine are investigated. It is shown that the susceptibility of high narrow fills to toppling is much lower than anticipated from the retaining wall analysis and that toppling can be avoided by a suitable toe support. It is also concluded that adhesion between the fill and an adjacent pillar can markedly increase the stability of the fill.
Keywords: Rock mechanics, Underground mining, Modelling, Centrifuge modelling, Backfills
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