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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-55
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-55
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Mar 2019

Research article | 13 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

FEM-based stability charts for underground cavities in soft carbonate rocks: validation through case-study applications

Michele Perrotti1, Piernicola Lollino1, Nunzio Luciano Fazio1, and Mario Parise1,2 Michele Perrotti et al.
  • 1CNR – IRPI, Bari, 70126, Italy
  • 2Department of Earth and Geo-environmental Sciences, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, 70126 Italy

Abstract. The stability of man-made underground cavities in soft rocks interacting with overlying structures and infrastructures represents a challenging problem to be faced. Based upon the results of a large number of parametric two-dimensional (2D) finite-element analyses of ideal cases of underground cavities, accounting for the variability of cave geometrical features and rock mechanical properties, specific charts have been recently proposed in the literature to assess at a preliminary stage the stability of the cavities. The purpose of the present paper is to validate the efficacy of the stability charts by means of the application to several case studies of underground cavities, either subjected to collapse in the past or still stable. The stability charts proposed result to be performing to catch the stability conditions and, eventually, the conditions that lead to failure occurrence. For sinkholes already occurred, they show the importance of structural elements as pillars and internal walls in the stability of the whole quarry system, whereas, for cavities that have not reached failure, they can provide useful indications about the eventual proneness of the underground cavity to local or general instability phenomena.

Michele Perrotti et al.
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Michele Perrotti et al.
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Latest update: 18 Jul 2019
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Short summary
Based on stability charts proposed by Perrotti et al. (2018), preliminary assessment of stability/instability of underground quarries in soft carbonate rocks is discussed with reference at six case studies of underground artificial cavities, including three affected by sinkhole failures in the past and three in stable conditions at present. When underground quarries are suitably surveyed and mapped, a quantitative assessment of the stability conditions is possible.
Based on stability charts proposed by Perrotti et al. (2018), preliminary assessment of...
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