Large Strain Consolidation in Unsaturated Porous Media

J Gareth Swarbrick, University of New South Wales

Gareth presented a consolidation model that allows for the effects of desiccation which is prevalent in slurried mineral waste deposits in areas of high evaporation. The coupled model is based on conventional large strain consolidation of saturated porous media extended to include the effects of partial saturation using the Richards equation. The model can accommodate continuous deposition as well as a variety of boundary conditions. A number of case studies were presented for mine tailing sites around Australia highlighting the potential of staged deposition and desiccation for optimal tailing volume reduction.

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