Authors: Danielson, J; Kinakin, D; Stilwell, I

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Danielson, J, Kinakin, D & Stilwell, I 2020, 'Tools for validating and creating reliable fault models', in PM Dight (ed.), Proceedings of the 2020 International Symposium on Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 577-590,

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Reliable 3D fault models are critically important for open pit slope design and slope stability assessment. Fault-influenced slope failures are major geotechnical hazards which frequently result in production slowdowns and require mitigation through design changes or depressurisation. Despite its importance in assessing slope stability, 3D fault model development is often left to the mine geologists or external geological consultants, whose focus is commonly the distribution of ore, not geotechnical hazard. This study presents a data-driven, semi-automated method for validating, identifying, and mapping faults that can influence slope stability. The tools are developed using the Python programming language’s freely available scientific computing libraries. These scalable libraries are used to leverage and visualise massive datasets, like blasthole drilling data or rock quality designation (RQD) to assess and improve fault models. Two case studies are provided to illustrate the application of the tools.

Keywords: fault modelling, pit slope instabilities, rock strength distribution, data visualisation

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