Assessing the undrained strength cross-Anisotropy of three tailings types

D. Reid, R. Fanni, A. Fourie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The cross-Anisotropic nature of soil strength has been studied and documented for decades, including the increased propensity for cross-Anisotropy in layered materials. However, current engineering practice for tailings storage facilities (TSFs) does not appear to generally include cross-Anisotropy considerations in the development of shear strengths. This is despite the very commonly seen layering profile in subaerially deposited tailings. To provide additional data to highlight the strength cross-Anisotropy of tailings, high-quality block samples from three TSFs were obtained and trimmed to enable hollow cylinder torsional shear tests to be sheared at principal stress angles of 0 and 45° during undrained shearing. The consolidation procedures were carried out such that the drained rotation of principal stress angle that would precede potential undrained shear events for below-slope tailings was reasonably simulated. The results indicated the significant effects of cross-Anisotropy on the undrained strength, instability stress ratio, contractive tendency and brittleness of each of the three tailings types. The magnitude of cross-Anisotropy effects seen was generally consistent with previous published data on sands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalGeotechnique Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2022


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