Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Combining Satellite InSAR, Slope Units and Finite Element Modeling for Stability Analysis in Mining Waste Disposal Areas

Version 1 : Received: 23 April 2021 / Approved: 26 April 2021 / Online: 26 April 2021 (21:05:50 CEST)

How to cite: López-Vinielles, J.; Fernández-Merodo, J.A.; Ezquerro, P.; García-Davalillo, J.C.; Sarro, R.; Reyes-Carmona, C.; Barra, A.; Navarro, J.A.; Krishnakumar, V.; Alvioli, M.; Herrera, G. Combining Satellite InSAR, Slope Units and Finite Element Modeling for Stability Analysis in Mining Waste Disposal Areas. Preprints 2021, 2021040696 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202104.0696.v1). López-Vinielles, J.; Fernández-Merodo, J.A.; Ezquerro, P.; García-Davalillo, J.C.; Sarro, R.; Reyes-Carmona, C.; Barra, A.; Navarro, J.A.; Krishnakumar, V.; Alvioli, M.; Herrera, G. Combining Satellite InSAR, Slope Units and Finite Element Modeling for Stability Analysis in Mining Waste Disposal Areas. Preprints 2021, 2021040696 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202104.0696.v1).

Abstract

Slope failures pose a substantial threat to mining activity due to their destructive potential and high probability of occurrence on steep slopes close to limit equilibrium conditions, often found both in open pits and in waste and tailing disposal facilities. The development of slope monitoring and modeling programs usually entails the exploitation of in situ and remote sensing data together with the application of numerical modeling, and it plays an important role in the definition of prevention and mitigation measures aimed at minimizing the impact of slope failures in mining areas. Here we present a new methodology combining satellite radar interferometry and 2D finite element modeling for slope stability analysis at a regional scale, applied within slope unit polygons. We studied a former mining area in southeast Spain, and the method proved useful in detecting and characterizing a considerably large number of unstable slopes. Out of 1,959 slope units used for the spatial analysis of the radar interferometry data, 43 were unstable, with varying values of safety factor and landslide size. Out of the 43 active slope units, 21 exhibited line of sight velocities greater than the maximum error obtained through the validation analysis (2.5 cm/year). Eventually, this work discusses the possibility of using the results of the proposed approach to devise a proxy for landslide hazard. The proposed methodology can help to provide non-expert final users with intelligible, clear and easily comparable information to analyze slope instabilities in different settings, not limited to mining areas.

Subject Areas

Satellite radar interferometry (InSAR); Slope units; Active deformation slope units; Finite element method (FEM); Shear strength reduction (SSR); Slope stability; Abandoned mining areas.

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