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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Modeling multidimensional large strain consolidation of tailings Priestley, Daniel


Mine sites generate large volumes of tailings materials, requiring storage in tailings impoundments. Large strain consolidation of tailings materials represents a major factor in determining how a tailings impoundment will behave over time. Being able to accurately model these phenomena ensures that the effects of long term consolidation may be considered in the design of future tailings impoundments. SoilVision Systems has created an internal version of the SVOFFICE 2009 finite element modeling software capable of evaluating these scenarios. Prior to this research, preliminary benchmarks have been established, but the software had not yet been applied to multidimensional scenarios to benchmark the results. The goal of this research was to first benchmark the software against literature case studies. Following this, the software could then be applied to multidimensional tailings impoundments to study how the modeling could be performed and what factors require further consideration. Benchmarking of the software showed that the software is capable of recreating a wide variety of case studies from the literature. Further test were used to determine the effects of various material parameters on the material. Applications to multidimensional scenarios show that the software is capable of analyzing a wide variety of scenarios and considering numerous factors not found in other software packages. While the software does require additional functionality, it has been found to be a viable tool for examining multidimensional consolidation effects in tailings impoundments.

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