Authors: Cai, S; Wang, X; Lyu, W; Yang, P


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Cai, S, Wang, X, Lyu, W & Yang, P 2017, 'Liquefying-damage of mine tailings dams in earthquakes', in A Wu & R Jewell (eds), Paste 2017: Proceedings of the 20th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, pp. 200-212,

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Tailings dams with severe damage from earthquakes could possibly pose a danger to the safety of mine production, the livelihood of local people, and the quality of the local environment. For instance, the “5.12” violent earthquake happened in 2008 in the Wenchuan county, Sichuan province, China, caused severe liquefaction and damage to nine ordinary tailings dams. This paper chose one of the nine damaged tailings dams and conducted laboratory tests into the static and dynamic properties of tailings dam materials. A mechanical model considering seismic load acting on tailings dam as well as the main factors influencing the stability of tailings dam under seismic action were proposed. By comparing the simulated data derived from ANSYS software with the field measured data, some key areas of tailings dam that can be easily liquefied and damaged in earthquake were identified. Furthermore, a number of parameters in controlling the factors of safety of tailings dams in earthquakes were also studied in detail. Therefore, for the safety of tailings disposal in the mines located in areas frequent struck by earthquakes, paste tailings disposal would be a reasonable choice.

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