• Stability and consolidation of sediment tailings incorporating unsaturated soil mechanics

      Satyanaga, A.; Wijaya, M.; Zhai, Q.; Moon, S.-W.; Pu, Jaan H.; Kim, J.R. (2021-11-24)
      Tailing dams are commonly used to safely store tailings without damaging the environment. Sand tailings (also called Sediment tailings) usually have a high water content and hence undergo consolidation during their placement. As the sediment tailings are usually placed above the ground water level, the degree of saturation and permeability of the sediment tailing is associated with the unsaturated condition due to the presence of negative pore-water pressure or suction. Current practices normally focus on the analyses saturated conditions. However, this consolidation process requires the flow of water between saturated and unsaturated zones to be considered. The objective of this study is to investigate the stability and consolidation of sediment tailings for the construction of road pillars considering the water flow between saturated and unsaturated zones. The scope of this study includes the unsaturated laboratory testing of sediments and numerical analyses of the road pillar. The results show that the analyses based on saturated conditions overestimate the time required to achieve a 90% degree of consolidation. The incorporation of the unsaturated soil properties is able to optimize the design of slopes for road pillars into steeper slope angles.