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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5389308, 12 pages
Research Article

Numerical Analyses of Earthquake Induced Liquefaction and Deformation Behaviour of an Upstream Tailings Dam

1Department of Civil Engineering, Quaid-e-Awam University of Engineering Science and Technology, Nawabshah, Sindh, Pakistan
2Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 97187 Luleå, Sweden
3Department of Urban Management, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
4Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Correspondence should be addressed to Muhammad Auchar Zardari; kp.ude.tseuq@rahcua.dammahum

Received 13 October 2016; Accepted 10 January 2017; Published 15 February 2017

Academic Editor: Rui Wang

Copyright © 2017 Muhammad Auchar Zardari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Much of the seismic activity of northern Sweden consists of micro-earthquakes occurring near postglacial faults. However, larger magnitude earthquakes do occur in Sweden, and earthquake statistics indicate that a magnitude 5 event is likely to occur once every century. This paper presents dynamic analyses of the effects of larger earthquakes on an upstream tailings dam at the Aitik copper mine in northern Sweden. The analyses were performed to evaluate the potential for liquefaction and to assess stability of the dam under two specific earthquakes: a commonly occurring magnitude 3.6 event and a more extreme earthquake of magnitude 5.8. The dynamic analyses were carried out with the finite element program PLAXIS using a recently implemented constitutive model called UBCSAND. The results indicate that the magnitude 5.8 earthquake would likely induce liquefaction in a limited zone located below the ground surface near the embankment dikes. It is interpreted that stability of the dam may not be affected due to the limited extent of the liquefied zone. Both types of earthquakes are predicted to induce tolerable magnitudes of displacements. The results of the postseismic slope stability analysis, performed for a state after a seismic event, suggest that the dam is stable during both the earthquakes.