Dealing with Uncertainty and Risk in the Design of Deep and High-Stress Mining Excavations

A method for risk-based design under high-stress conditions is described in this paper. Probabilistic methods of analysis are applied to stress modelling to determine the probability of exceeding a given depth of failure. Suggestions are provided for dealing with geotechnical uncertainty. The understanding of aleatory variability can be improved by collecting more data and improving the quality of data through training and quality control. Stress and model uncertainty remain a challenge in geotechnical engineering. Some degree of subjective engineering judgement will therefore always be required in geotechnical design.

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