Project examples

Rock Slopes

The evaluation of the stability of a rock slope requires the careful investigation of geological and structural features. Rock slopes often fail on discontinuities. The collection of data such as orientation, persistence, weathering, strength and roughness of discontinuities is necessary to analyze the slope stability. Simple cases may be evaluated by kinematic slope analyzes. Sophisticated cases require numerical evaluation including estimation of the shear strength of the discontinuities. Moreover, rock fall hazard has to be addressed.


Tunneling in rock requires the development of geological model along the tunnel axis. Knowledge about rock mass features such as strength and deformability as well as in-situ stresses are required for rock mechanical calculations concerning the stability. Additionally, structural failure (kinematic rock block movements in roof, springline or face) have to be considered.

The choice of advance method (Tunnel boring machine, roadheader, drill & blast) and the estimation of advance rates requires knowledge about rock and rock mass strength, abrasivity and discontinuity spacing.


Mining operations last, in contrast to tunneling, decades. Exploration defines the model of the resource and finally the geotechnical model. Different requirements for the stability of excavations are defined by their purpose. Shafts and main gates require long term stability while head- and tailgates need to be serviceable during resource extraction. Effects of mining on the environment (mining-induced seismicity, surface movement, groundwater) needs to be considered, too. Risk management of abandoned mines concludes the life-cycle considerations about mining.