Effective stress is fundamental component of open pit rock slope design because it controls shear strength and deformation. The geotechnical processes of pit slope deformation and behaviour can only be fully understood by considering the interaction between hydraulic and mechanical processes in geomaterials through hydromechanical coupling (HMC). Thus, HMC and effective stress are intimately related. HMC involves both direct and indirect coupling. The aims of this project are to investigate, validate and consolidate approaches to, and understanding of, coupled hydromechanical behavior i.e.:
- Quantify hydraulic parameter changes due to deformation immediately after excavation.
- Validate research that was completed in LOP I of relevance to the prediction of effective stress
- Investigate hydromechanical coupling (i.e. change in hydraulic conductivity) as a means to validate research that has been completed on rock mass strain induced damage/disturbance in LOP II
- Develop a broad understanding of the incidence, controls and significance of hydromechanical coupling behavior (HMC) to effective stress and pit slope design (i.e., when it is necessary to use a coupled hydromechanical modelling approach.)