UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Monotonic and cyclic shear loading response of fine-grained gold tailings Seidalinova, Ainur


The monotonic, cyclic and post-cyclic shear response of gold tailings was investigated using constant-volume direct simple shear test device. The reconstituted gold tailings specimens normally consolidated to vertical effective stress levels ranging from 50 kPa to 400 kPa initially exhibited contractive behaviour followed by a dilative response under monotonic loading, with their shear stiffness and strength increasing with increasing initial effective confining stress. Overconsolidated specimens developed negative excess pore pressures during monotonic shear, with increasing dilative response, shear resistance, and stiffness displayed with increasing overconsolidation ratio (OCR). Overall, the monotonic behaviour of normally consolidated reconstituted gold tailings specimens is similar to the typical monotonic behaviour of normally consolidated clays and low-plastic silts; similarly, the behaviour of overconsolidated reconstituted gold tailings specimens is similar to the typical monotonic behaviour of overconsolidated clays. During cyclic loading, the tailings exhibited cumulative decrease in effective stress (or increase in equivalent excess pore-water pressure) with increasing number of loading cycles, resulting in progressive degradation of shear stiffness. The cyclic shear resistance increased with increasing OCR. The findings on the cyclic shear response of normally consolidated reconstituted gold tailings are in general agreement with those available published data on the cyclic response of different tailings, obtained from tests carried out on cyclic triaxial (TX) and DSS devices. The CRR of the gold tailings from this study, however, was found to be higher than that observed in Fraser river sand and Quartz rock powder, but in the same range as natural Fraser river silt. The post-cyclic monotonic shearing response, obtained from DSS tests, carried out on normally consolidated and overconsolidated reconstituted gold tailings specimens was also studied as a part of the current research work. The post-cyclic shear strength of normally and overconsolidated specimens, normalized to the initial effective confining stress, were observed to increase with increasing OCR. The post-cyclic consolidation volume changes experienced by the gold tailings specimens were in agreement with previously published results suggesting that post-cyclic volumetric strains would increase with increasing maximum excess pore water pressure ratio developed during cyclic loading.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada