SummaryThe stability of rock slopes in discontinuous rock mass associated with the construction of power plants, highways and open pits is always of paramount importance during the lifetime of these structures. The likely forms of instabilities observed in the excavation of rock slopes and some mathematical methods for the stability analyses are well documented in literature. Since most of the mathematical approaches used are based on the limiting-equilibrium concept, there seems a need to check the validity of these approaches under some controlled conditions. In this paper, the authors describe methods for the stability of a blocky column and discontinuous rock slopes derived on the basis of dynamic equilibrium equations and compare the results calculated according to the developed method with those of experiments on model blocky columns and model slopes in the laboratory. Test results confirm that the limiting equilibrium approach is valid and an effective way of dealing with the stability problems in discontinuous rock mass as long as the likely forms of instability are properly treated in these approaches.
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