Fuzzy approach for preliminary design of weak rock slopes in lignite mines

Yardimci A. G., KARPUZ C.

BULLETIN OF ENGINEERING GEOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, vol.77, no.1, pp.253-264, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 77 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10064-017-1022-7
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.253-264
  • Keywords: Rock mass characterization, Weak rock, Fuzzy logic, Slope performance chart, SYSTEM, SETS
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Rock slope failure modes are either driven by structurally controlled mechanisms (planar, wedge, or toppling failure) or lean upon the highly jointed or weak rock mass (circular failure). Developing practical tools for preliminary slope design is a popular topic among geotechnical society. This study proposes a practical methodology to predict a safe overall slope angle for weak rock slopes of lignite mines. Rock mass rating (RMR) and slope mass rating (SMR) classification systems can be remarkably misleading for weak rocks. Fuzzy modification was proven to improve rock and slope quality predictions. In addition, structurally controlled failures can be estimated more precisely. Later, a popular slope performance chart of Bieniawski that is based on RMR was modified by the fuzzy approach, and the computer models of a weak rock mass failure in a Turkish lignite mine are presented. The modified methodology was proven to be better suited to the weak rock conditions.