Stability study on the northern batter of MBC Open Pit using Plaxis 3D

  • Lei Zhao
  • Greg You
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Geotechnical Engineering for Urban and Major Infrastructure Development


Cracks appeared on the northern batter at Maddingley Brown Coal Open Pit Mine, Victoria, Australia, on 8 November 2013 and a 2-day rainfall event happened 5 days later. This study models the stability of the northern batter considering the effect of the rainfall event and an emergency buttress using finite element method (FEM) encoded in Plaxis 3D. It is found that the batter tended to lead to block sliding after overburden removal. The observed vertical crack would be a combined action of the overburden removal and groundwater flow. The simulated location of cracks agrees well with the actual location, and the simulated heave of the coal seam is in good agreement with the experience in Victoria brown coal open pit mining. The rainfall accelerated the development of the cracks. With the construction of the emergency buttress, the batter became stable that is in good agreement with the monitored data.


Batter stability Brown coal Ground crack Open pit mining Rainfall Buttress 



The authors sincerely express their appreciation to Maddingley Brown Coal Pty Ltd. for their support of this research project, in particular, to Mr. Tim Tillig, Environmental, Quality & Safety Officer.

The study is supported by the Australian Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship and Federation University Australia George Collins Memorial Scholarship.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Engineering and Information TechnologyFederation University AustraliaMt HelenAustralia

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