Notice of Webinar on Geotechnical Aspects of Tailings Dams and their Failures

Updated: Mar 9



YOU MUST REGISTER FOR THE EVENT TO PARTICIPATE


The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering (COGGE) is hosting this webinar which will review some significant tailings dam failures and failure rates relative to other facilities. Key aspects of geotechnical failures of tailings dams and shear strength concepts for loose granular materials will be reviewed.


For more information and to register, see  https://nasem.zoom.us/webinar/register/6915658808272/WN_dbQh-89rQ5a9zd737EalWg


Sorry for the short notice, if a link to the material is made available after the webinar, look back on this blog under the Cochrane Hill Tab.


What will the webinar cover?Tailings dams and other residuals impoundments fail with significant consequences about 1 to 2 times per year worldwide. Many more failures and near misses occur each year, but the consequences are limited to mostly onsite impacts. Mine tailings, coal ash residuals, other waste impoundments and dredged fills where the materials are placed by hydraulic sluicing are particulate in nature, non-cohesive, loosely placed, and are potentially liquefiable. If liquefaction occurs, uncontained wastes can flow downstream at rapid rates for long distances and create massive devastation.


This webinar will review some significant tailings dam failures and their rates of failure relative to other facilities. Key aspects of geotechnical failures of tailings dams and shear strength concepts for loose granular materials will also be reviewed. Dr. Marr will share design and monitoring recommendations he has developed over 45 years of experience with tailings dam design, failure assessments, and study of the work of others.


The presentation is now available below:

Presentation: You Tube Video

Presentation: PowerPoint Slides


Comments on Presentation:

The presentation is very technical, however there were a several items that stood out to me.

The continued acceptance of the use of water borne tailings disposal as apposed to dry stack tailings disposal.Several dam failures the day after an inspection.The presenters comments “little to no warning” for the dam failure.Just how difficult it is to ensure that the tailings dams do not fail, even after extensive modeling and high tech monitoring.How so very important it to constantly monitor the dam.How the material placed in the dam physically changes over time- dynamic not static condition.The need for positive tailings dam seepage control.The discussion on acceptable “risk analysis” with respect to tailings dam failures.The role of geometry, subsurface profile, pore pressures, strength of the material (drained or un-drained, cohesive or non-cohesive, contractive or dilative) in the stability of a tailings dam.

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