Karen joined Itasca Australia in 2017, and with a background in marketing and process improvement, she provides administration support to the team and manages software sales for the region.
Mr Lachenicht has 25 years’ experience in mining geomechanics ranging from consulting, research projects, studies to mine operational experience. Over the course of his experience, positions held include manager, senior geotechnical engineer, geotechnical superintendent and principal geotechnical engineer roles with associated levels of responsibility.
A 3D groundwater flow model was constructed using MINEDW  to simulate pore pressure at the Chuquicamata open pit mine slope in Chile. Three main factors required the implementation of a 3D model for the prediction of pore pressures: (1) discrete zones of recharge in the gravel zone lead to the non-uniform flow field; (2) the low-permeability west fault and shear zones maintain the non-hydrostatic pore-pressure distribution with depth during mining; and (3) the drainage gallery causes localized depressurization. In addition, a zone of relaxation (ZOR) was observed at the site. Simulations of the development of the ZOR according to the mining schedule are important in the prediction of pore-pressure distribution within the slope.
The model was calibrated against measured water levels, pore pressures, drains, and seepage rates. The calibrated model was then used to simulate and predict pore-pressure distribution in the pit walls for different time periods. Specifically, the model was able to capture the non-hydrostatic, transient nature of the pore pressures with depth in the granodiorite west of the shear zone, in the shear zone, and along the west fault. The model also simulated the ZOR for the first 150 m below the pit bench with enhanced hydraulic conductivity values according to the excavation schedule. Simulated transient 3D pore-pressure distribution provides a more realistic input to 3DEC slope-stability analyses.
Liu, H., F. Duran del Valle, J. Xiang, and B. Șener Kaya. 2012. Simulation of three-dimensional pore-pressure distribution for slope-stability analysis. 46th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, Chicago, IL, 24-27 June.
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