Stability analysis of wedges in jointed rock masses using finite element analysis
Limit equilibrium analysis of wedges and blocks is not thorough enough to evaluate all aspects of the problem. As an alternative and complementary approach, finite element model was used to analyze stability of wedges in rock slopes, and the performance of the model was compared with limit equilibrium method.
A rock mass containing a wedge was analyzed in two and three dimensions, and pre-determined joints were modeled by interface elements, and Lusas Finite Element Program was used for analysis. Using the program for rock slopes with different geometries and joint sets, various aspects of the slopes were evaluated in two and three dimensions and the factor of safety for each case was determined, and also variations of significant parameters such as friction angle and cohesive strength were examined.