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RISKS OF TAILINGS DAMS FAILURE (2011)
Tailings dams are geotechnical structures that are increased in height with time. Several factors typical of tailings dams cause a higher risk of failure compared with other earth structures. The factors that influence the risk of tailings dam failure are discussed in this paper. Important factors include a high water level in the tailings dam slope, lack of monitoring, inappropriate site investigation and lack of understanding of the mechanical behavior of tailings material. An approach to mitigate and/or control these risks is then proposed based on appropriate site characterization, design analysis adapted to the tailings characteristics and a sufficient monitoring system that is rigorously used.
ISGSR 2011 - Vogt, Schuppener, Straub & Bräu (eds) - © 2011 Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau