Probability of failure (PF) often appears alongside factor of safety (FS) in design acceptance criteria for rock slope, underground excavation and open pit mine designs. However, the design acceptance criteria generally provide no guidance relating to how PF should be calculated for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses, or what qualifies a ‘reasonable’ PF assessment for a given slope design. Observational and kinematic methods were widely used in the 1990s until advances in computing permitted the routine use of numerical modelling. In the 2000s and early 2010s, PF in numerical models was generally calculated using the point estimate method. More recently, some limit equilibrium analysis software offer statistical parameter inputs along with Monte-Carlo or Latin-Hypercube sampling methods to automatically calculate PF. Factors including rock type and density, weathering and alteration, intact rock strength, rock mass quality and shear strength, the location and orientation of geologic structure, shear strength of geologic structure and groundwater pore pressure influence the stability of rock slopes. Significant engineering and geological judgment, interpretation and data interpolation is usually applied in determining these factors and amalgamating them into a geotechnical model which can then be analysed. Most factors are estimated ‘approximately’ or with allowances for some variability rather than ‘exactly’. When it comes to numerical modelling, some of these factors are then treated deterministically (i.e. as exact values), while others have probabilistic inputs based on the user’s discretion and understanding of the problem being analysed. This paper discusses the importance of understanding the key aspects of slope design for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses and how they can be translated into reasonable PF assessments where the data permits. A case study from a large open pit gold mine in a complex geological setting in Western Australia is presented to illustrate how PF can be calculated using different methods and obtain markedly different results. Ultimately sound engineering judgement and logic is often required to decipher the true meaning and significance (if any) of some PF results.
This study examined the hydro-geochemistry of Qare-Sou catchment and Gorgan Gulf in order to determine the spatial distribution of major ions. In this regard, six hydrometer stations in the catchment and four stations in Gorgan Gulf were chosen and the samples were collected. Results of spatial and temporal distribution of major ions have shown similar variation trends for calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate ions. Also, the spatial trend of chloride, sulfate, sodium and potassium ions were same as Electrical Conductivity (EC) and Total Dissolved Solid (TDS). In Nahar Khoran station, the concentrations of ions were more than other stations which may be related to human activities and the role of geology. The Siah Ab station’s ions showed high concentration which is may be related to the station’s close proximity to Gorgan Gulf and the return of water to Qare-Sou River. In order to determine the interaction of water and rock, the Gibbs diagram was used and the results showed that water of the river falls in the rock range and it is affected more by weathering and reaction between water and stone and less by evaporation and crystallization. Assessment of the quality of river water by using graphic methods indicated that the type of water in this area is Ca-HCO3-Mg. Major ions concentration in Qare-Sou in the universal average was more than but not more than the allowed limit by the World Health Organization and China Standard Organization. A comparison of ions concentration in Gorgan Gulf, seas and oceans showed that the pH in Gorgan Gulf was more than the other seas but in Gorgan Gulf the concentration of anion and cation was less than other seas.
The toxic metal contamination and their biomagnification in marine fishes is a serious public health concern specially, in the coastal areas and the small islands. In the present study, concentration of toxic heavy metals like zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr) and mercury (Hg) were determined in the tissues of tunas (T. albacores) caught from the area near to Lakshdweep Islands. The heavy metals are one of the indicators for the marine water pollution. Geochemical weathering, industrialization, agriculture run off, fishing, shipping and oil spills are the major pollutants. The presence of heavy toxic metals in the near coastal water fishes at both western coast and eastern coast of India has been well established. The present study was conducted assuming that the distant island will not have the metals presence in a way it is at the near main land coast. However, our study shows that there is a significant amount of the toxic metals present in the tissues of tuna samples. The gill, lever and flash samples were collected in waters around Lakshdweep Islands. They were analyzed using ICP–AES for the toxic metals after microwave digestion. The concentrations of the toxic metals were found in all fish samples and the general trend of presence was in decreasing order as Zn > Al > Cd > Pb > Cr > Ni > Hg. The amount of metals was found to higher in fish having more weight.
Jabal Omar is located in the western side of Makkah city in Saudi Arabia. The proposed Jabal Omar Development project includes several multi-storey buildings, roads, bridges and below ground structures founded at various depths. In this study, geological mapping and site inspection which covered pre-selected areas were carried out within the easily accessed parts. Geological features; including rock types, structures, degree of weathering, and geotechnical hazards were observed and analyzed with specified software and also were documented in form of photographs. The presence of joints and fractures in the area made the rock blocks small and weak. The site is full of jointing; it was observed that, the northern side consists of 3 to 4 jointing systems with 2 random fractures associated with dykes. The southern part is affected by 2 to 3 jointing systems with minor fault and shear zones. From the field measurements and observations, it was concluded that, the Jabal Omar intruded by andesitic and basaltic dykes of different thickness and orientation. These dykes made the outcrop weak, highly deformed and made the rock masses sensitive to weathering.
Remote sensing plays a vital role in mapping of resources and monitoring of environments of the earth. In the present research study, mapping and monitoring of clay siltations occurred in the Alkhod Dam of Muscat, Sultanate of Oman are carried out using low-cost multispectral Landsat and ASTER data. The dam is constructed across the Wadi Samail catchment for ground water recharge. The occurrence and spatial distribution of siltations in the dam are studied with five years of interval from the year 1987 of construction to 2014. The deposits are mainly due to the clay, sand and silt occurrences derived from the weathering rocks of ophiolite sequences occurred in the Wadi Samail catchment. The occurrences of clays are confirmed by minerals identification using ASTER VNIR-SWIR spectral bands and Spectral Angle Mapper supervised image processing method. The presence of clays and their spatial distribution are verified in the field. The study recommends the technique and the low-cost satellite data to similar region of the world.
Pyritisation halos are identified in weathering crusts and unconsolidated formations at five locations within large fault structure of the Urals’ eastern slope. Electron microscopy reveals the presence of inclusions and growths on pyrite faces – normally on cubic pyrite with striations, or combinations of cubes and other forms. Following neogenesis types are established: native elements and intermetallic compounds (including gold and silver), halogenides, sulphides, sulfosalts, tellurides, sulphotellurides, selenides, tungstates, sulphates, phosphates, carbon-based substances. Direct relationship is noted between amount and diversity of such mineral phases, and proximity to and scale of ore-grade mineralization. Gold and silver, both in native form and within tellurides, presence of lead (galena, native lead), native tungsten, and, possibly, molybdenite and sulfosalts can indicate gold-bearing formations. First find of native tungsten in the Urals is for the first time – in crystallised and druse-like form. Link is suggested between unusual mineralization and “reducing” hydrothermal fluids from deep-seated faults at later stages of Urals’ reactivation.
The Salman Farsi dam project is constructed on the Ghareh Agahaj River about 140km south of Shiraz city in the Zagros Mountains of southwestern Iran. This tectonic province of south-western Iran is characterized by a simple folded sedimentary sequence. The dam foundation rocks compose of the Asmari Formation of Oligo-miocene and generally comprise of a variety of karstified carbonate rocks varying from strong to weak rocks. Most of the rocks exposed at the dam site show a primary porosity due to incomplete diagenetic recrystallization and compaction. In addition to these primary dispositions to weathering, layering conditions (frequency and orientation of bedding) and the subvertical tectonic discontinuities channeled preferably the infiltrating by deep-sited hydrothermal solutions. Consequently the porosity results to be enlarged by dissolution and the rocks are expected to be karstified and to develop cavities in correspondence of bedding, major joint planes and fault zones. This kind of karsts is named hypogenic karsts which associated to the ascendant warm solutions. Field observations indicate strong karstification and vuggy intercalations especially in the middle part of the Asmari succession. The biggest karst in the dam axis which identified by speleological investigations is Golshany Cave with volume of about 150,000 m3. The tendency of the Asmari limestone for strong dissolution can alert about the seepage from the reservoir and area of the dam locality.