In Situ Seismic Investigations of Coal Tailings

Min Liew, Ming Xiao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Catastrophic tailings dam failures have resulted in significant social, economic, and environmental losses. The geotechnical properties of coal tailings have been investigated in the past using reconstituted samples or relatively undisturbed samples. To realistically assess the stability of coal tailings dams under dynamic loadings, there is a need to determine the in situ properties of coal tailings using non-destructive field testing. In this study, seismic refraction survey and multichannel analysis of surface waves method are performed in two coal tailings impoundments in the Appalachian coalfields in the USA. Shear wave and compressional wave velocities of coal tailings are determined based on the field data. Young's modulus, shear modulus, and Poisson's ratio that are critical in understanding the stress-strain relationship of coal tailings are estimated. The Poisson's ratio of the unsaturated fine coal tailings is determined to be 0.39. The Young's modulus of the soft fine coal tailings for the inactive site is higher than that for the active site (i.e., 65 MPa versus 35 MPa). The small-strain shear modulus of the fine coal tailings is determined to be in the range of 10 to 50 MPa. The parameters derived from these seismic investigations contribute to the scarce database of geotechnical properties of coal tailings and can be applied to future stability assessment of coal tailings dams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeotechnical Special Publication
EditorsChristopher L. Meehan, Sanjeev Kumar, Miguel A. Pando, Joseph T. Coe
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Pages239-247
Number of pages9
EditionGSP 311
ISBN (Electronic)9780784482070, 9780784482087, 9780784482094, 9780784482100, 9780784482117, 9780784482124, 9780784482131, 9780784482148, 9780784482155, 9780784482162
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Event8th International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering: Engineering Geology, Site Characterization, and Geophysics, Geo-Congress 2019 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: Mar 24 2019Mar 27 2019

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
NumberGSP 311
Volume2019-March
ISSN (Print)0895-0563

Conference

Conference8th International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering: Engineering Geology, Site Characterization, and Geophysics, Geo-Congress 2019
CountryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia
Period3/24/193/27/19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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