Volume 35, Issue 3 (May 2012)
Seismic Simulator Testing to Investigate the Cyclic Behavior of Tailings in an Instrumented Rigid Box
Hard rock mine tailings are prone to liquefaction when subjected to the cyclic loading of earthquakes. This response may cause failure of the retaining dams and the release of liquefied tailings. To investigate the geotechnical response of tailings during cyclic loading, an experimental program was conducted using a physical model consisting of an instrumented, rigid box on a large seismic (shaking) simulator. The main objective of the tests performed on tailings was to assess, in a relative manner, their response to cyclic loads, without and with drainage or rigid inclusions (or a combination of both). As the results obtained during such tests can be significantly influenced by the experimental procedure, a rigorous methodology was followed for this experimental program. This paper presents the details of the methodology developed to conduct such tests, as well as some of the results obtained.