Numerical investigation of earth pressure coefficient along central line of backfilled stopes

Sobhi, Mohamed Amine; Li, Li; Aubertin, Michel
January 2017
Canadian Geotechnical Journal;2017, Vol. 54 Issue 1, p138
Academic Journal
The earth pressure coefficient K, defined as the horizontal to vertical normal (effective) stresses ratio ( σh/ σv), is a key parameter in analytical solutions for estimating the stresses in backfilled stopes. In the case of vertical stopes, the value of K has sometimes been defined using the at-rest earth pressure coefficient K0, while others have applied Rankine's active earth pressure coefficient Ka. To help clarify this confusing situation, which can lead to significantly different results, the origin and nature of the at-rest and Rankine's active coefficients are first briefly recalled. The stress state in backfilled stopes is then investigated using numerical simulations. The results indicate that the value of K can be close to Ka for cohesionless backfills along the vertical central line (CL) of vertical stopes, due to sequential placement and partial yielding of the backfill. For inclined stopes, simulations show that the ratio between the minor and major principal stresses ( σ3/ σ1) along the CL in the backfill, which differs from σh/ σv, can also be close to Ka. A simple expression is shown to represent the horizontal to vertical stresses ratio σh/ σv (= K) along the CL of such inclined stopes well. A discussion follows on the effects of backfill properties and simulation approach.


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