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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An analytical geomechanical upscaling approach for modeling jointed rock mass behaviour using ubiquitous joints Lavoie, Thierry


Over the past few years, the increase in scale of open pit mines and a need to more accurately predict the subsidence induced by block cave mining have highlighted the need to develop new analytical techniques to replace empirical rock mass rating systems in order to better evaluate fractured rock mass properties and simulate its behaviour. This thesis focuses on the development of an analytical geomechanical upscaling approach for modeling jointed rock mass behaviour in continuum simulations based on the information that can be derived from Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) modelling and laboratory test results. For this research, many approaches have been evaluated using different constitutive models and techniques to derive the rock mass properties. The Ubiquitous Joint Rock Mass (UJRM) constitutive model has proven to be an ideal tool to capture both the softening effect and directionality imposed by the discontinuities on the rock mass. A good agreement has been observed between the outcomes from simulations using the upscaling approach in FLAC and similar 2D models run in ELFEN. The potential for the upscaling approach to accurately reproduce fractured rock mass behaviour was further confirmed by testing its ability to reproduce the scale effect and applying it to four different slope models. This research indicates that the developed geomechanical approach developed can reproduce the behavior of fractured rock masses in continuum simulations while necessitating minimum preparation time, being less computationally intensive than its discontinuum counterparts and staying as close as possible to the data acquired in the field and from laboratory testing.

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