Effect of faults on in-situ stress state in an open-pit mine

Wenhui Tan, P. H.S.W. Kulatilake, Hongbao Sun, Zhonghua Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Faults are very developed in Shuichang iron mine, which is the largest open-pit metal mine in China. This paper evaluates the effect of the major faults in the said mine on in-situ stress at the three-dimensional level using a discontinuum modeling technique which has the capability to treat each major fault as a finite size feature. Results show clearly that both the magnitudes and directions of in-situ stresses can vary very significantly in the presence of faults. The amount of difference depends on the geometrical features of the fault, the difference in mechanical properties between the faults and the parent rock and closeness of the measuring or calculation point of in-situ stress with respect to the location of the fault. This means the in-situ stresses measured close to faults are quite different to the far-field in-situ stresses. To obtain reasonably accurate stress measurements that can be used to apply as far-field boundary stress conditions in numerical modeling, one has to choose locations that are significantly away from faults as well as complicated lithological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9597-9629
Number of pages33
JournalElectronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering
Issue numberZ1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Discontinuum modelling
  • Faults
  • In-situ stress
  • Normalized stress difference (NSD)
  • Open-pit mine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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