Estimating the Cyclic and Post-Earthquake Behavior of Coal Mine Tailings at a Site in Eastern Kentucky

M. E. Kalinski, A. Salehian

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Tailings impoundments are constructed to contain tailings produced from mining activities. Methods to analyze liquefaction resistance and post-earthquake behavior exist for soil, but less information is available for mine tailings. This study was undertaken to contribute to the understanding of the cyclic and post-earthquake behavior of coal mine tailings for an impoundment in eastern Kentucky. Cyclic triaxial testing was used to determine liquefaction resistance. Special measures were taken to recover specimens for laboratory testing, including fixed piston sampling and construction of work pads. Field vane shear testing was also performed and relationships between strength and field geotechnical measurements were developed. The three main conclusions of this study are: (1) cone penetrometer testing (CPT) is recommended over standard penetration testing and shear wave velocity testing to estimate shear strength of fine coal tailings; (2) a relationship was derived which may be useful to estimate the cyclic resistance of fine coal tailings based on CPT tip resistance; and (3) correlations between CPT tip resistance and strength were developed which may be useful to estimate the post-earthquake the post-earthquake strength of fine coal tailings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-288
Number of pages10
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue number270 GSP
StatePublished - 2016
Event2nd Geo-Chicago Conference: Geotechnics for Sustainable Energy, Geo-Chicago 2016 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Aug 14 2016Aug 18 2016

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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