Publication Abstract

Proceedings-DFI-India 2016: 6th Conference on Deep Foundation Technologies for Infrastructure Development in India, (DFI)

Failure Analysis and Strengthening of Tailing Pond Embankment by Prefabricated Vertical Drains and Geogrid
Biswajit Das, Anup Kumar Mandal, and Sanjoy Chowdhury, Tata Consulting Engineers Limited, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Tailing pond of an iron ore mine necessitated raising the height of its embankment to create additional storage capacity. The tailing pond is located in eastern India and raising the height of embankment was going on during the month of January, 2014. Upstream method of construction was adopted since there was no space available at the downstream side. During the construction, about 200 m stretch of the north east embankment of height about 5.5 m failed forming a classical slip circle on the upstream side involving about half the top width of the embankment. To find out the root cause of the slope failure, detail geotechnical investigation work was carried out within the embankment as well as in the adjacent areas within the pond. About 7.5m thick very soft tailings were detected below the constructed embankment. Shear strength of the soft tailing was very low and was inadequate to sustain imposed embankment load. This resulted in the failure of the embankment. Analysis of the tailing deposit revealed that even after failure, settlement was continuing due to imposed embankment load. Under normal onedimensional consolidation, the tailing deposit would have taken about 5.7 years for 90% of primary consolidation. However, in order to mitigate the scarcity of storage space, mining plan required raising the height of the embankment within next six to eight months. Therefore, despite the fact that there was a failure, it was necessary to continue the construction on the underlying weak stratum. The system was redesigned with installation of prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs) to accelerate the consolidation process thereby gaining the in-situ strength. Strength was additionally enhanced by installing geogrids in multiple layers. It stabilized the existing embankment and also ensured construction of additional height over and above the existing embankment.

 article #2201; publication #1020 (INDIA-2016)