Authors: Estrada, BE; Weir, FM

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Estrada, BE & Weir, FM 2023, 'Open pits, earthquake damage and seismic design: an overview', in PM Dight (ed.), SSIM 2023: Third International Slope Stability in Mining Conference, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 675-684,

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Despite the limited publicly available detailed reports of earthquake damage, open pits can be vulnerable to the effects of earthquakes. Earthquake-associated damage has been reported in open pit mines in South America, Asia and Oceania. This paper reviews earthquake damage reported in open pits and discusses factors that may impact earthquake performance of open pit slopes. These factors include topography, slope geometry, rock material and mass properties, water management and intrinsic pit design. This paper highlights that pit slopes that have withstood strong earthquakes in highly active seismic regions are often designed under strict seismic guidelines and provides insights into site-specific seismic hazard assessments and considerations for the seismic design of open pits. The aim of these assessments is to estimate the likely level of earthquake shaking that the pit may experience during its life and to select the appropriate level of shaking for design by considering not only the site-specific seismic hazard but also the intrinsic pit properties and consequence of failure.

Keywords: seismic design, earthquake performance, seismic hazard assessment

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