SVSLOPE® 3D applied to Tailings Impoundment Facility


February 20, 2017

Tierra group recently made use of the 3D capabilities of the SVSLOPE® software to perform an analysis of the corner of an Earth Dam retaining structure. The use of 2D analysis tools were difficult in this scenario because of several issues. Firstly, the structure of a corner or a turn in the Earth dam needed to be incorporated into the analysis. There is also the difficulty of varying geo-strata beneath the foundation of the engineered earth dam structure. The combination of these two aspects made 2D analysis extremely difficult.

Therefore, 3D analysis was performed using the 3D SVSLOPE® software package. The data was first imported into the SVDESIGNER™ package in order to manage all the pinch-outs from the collected real-world data. SVDESIGNER™ successfully helped the team in developing a properly formed 3D conceptual model of the site. With this 3D model formed the analysis of the stability portion of the dam could proceed in the SVSLOPE® software. Tierra group was able to identify the slip direction close to the corner which produced the minimum factor of safety by using the orientation analysis in SVSLOPE®. The resulting analysis also highlighted the interplay between the engineered structure and the geo-strata in the foundation which had the potential to affect the factor of safety calculation in 3D.

Tierra Group was in need of a 3D slope stability analysis to solve a complex slope stability project in highly variable soil conditions. We were able to quickly develop the conceptual 3D model with SVDESIGNER™ and SVSLOPE® using topographic data, borehole logs, and 2D geologic cross-sections. Once the conceptual model was built, Tierra Group was able to analyze multiple potential failure locations and orientations in excellent time. The SoilVision team responded quickly to questions and spent as much time as was necessary to help. We highly recommend this software for analyzing similar projects."

Justin Knudsen, P.E.
Senior Civil/Geotechnical Engineer,
Tierra Group


If you are interested in analysis similar to this please contact Tierra Group.