Document Type: Original Research Paper


Strategic Mineral Niche, School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia



The stability analysis of rock slopes is a complex task for the geotechnical engineers due to the complex nature of the rock mass in a tropical climate that often has discontinuities in several forms, and consequently, in several types of slope failures. In this work, a rock mass classification scheme is followed in a tropical environment using the Rock Mass Rating (RMR) and Geological Strength Index (GSI) combined with the kinematic investigation using the Rocscience Software Dips 6.0. The Lafarge quarry is divided into ten windows. In the RMR system, the five parameters uniaxial compressive strength (UCS), rock quality designation (RQD), discontinuity spacing, discontinuity condition, and groundwater conditions are investigated. The RMR values range from 51 to 70 (fair to good rock mass), and the GSI values range from 62 to 65 (good to fair rock mass). There is a good and positive correlation between RMR and GSI. The kinematic analysis reveals that window A is prone to critical toppling, window H to critical wedge-planar failure, and window G to critical wedge failure.  From the results obtained, it can be concluded that the kinematic analysis combined with the rock mass classification system provides a better understanding to analyze the rock slope stability in a tropical climate compared with considering the rock mass classification system individually.


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