Natural rock-slope stability issues at Masada national monument: A case study

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Abstract

The stability of three key-blocks at the snake path cliff of Masada monument is studied using 2-D and 3-D static and pseudo-static limit equilibrium analyses under dry and saturated conditions. The block size varies between 500 to 1400 tons. The response of the blocks to seismically induced ground motions is monitored using in-situ displacement transducers. All three blocks exhibited a simultaneous displacement in the order of 1mm during a single seismic event at the Gulf of Eilat. The sensitivity of the blocks to remote seismic tremors is explained by a pronounced topographic effect at Masada, amounting to amplification by a factor of 3.5. The results of the stability analyses indicate that the 3-D solution requires higher support force in comparison to the 2-D solution when water pressures in the joints is considered. It is therefore concluded that in the solution of rock slope stability problems where joint water pressures can be developed, application of two-dimensional solutions could be ominously un-conservative. Application of 2-D true dynamic DDA code in the north face of the mountain is performed where the slope consists of several hundred blocks. It is demonstrated that the duration of earthquake vibration is key factor in the numerical prediction of anticipated damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages1621-1628
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999
Event9th International Society for Rock Mechanics Congress, ISRM 1999 - Paris, France
Duration: 25 Aug 199928 Aug 1999

Conference

Conference9th International Society for Rock Mechanics Congress, ISRM 1999
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityParis
Period25/08/9928/08/99

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