Research Article Open Access

Stability of Rock Pillars with Singular and Persistent Discontinuities

Pierpaolo Oreste1
  • 1 Department of Environment Land and Infrastructure, Faculty of Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy


Problem statement: The strength of rock pillars in the presence of single, persistent, natural discontinuities can seriously be compromised and lead the pillar to collapse because of instability along the discontinuity itself. Approach: A specific analysis method for this kind of problem has been set up in this study to evaluate the stability of pillars and to determine the dimension that this kind of pillar should have in order to guarantee the minimum requested safety factor. Results and Conclusion: The objective is to determine the limit shear stress and the actual acting shear stress at 25 points distributed along the discontinuity in order to then be able to obtain the safety factor concerning collapse of the pillar along the discontinuity surface.

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 9 No. 9, 2012, 1354-1372


Submitted On: 10 May 2012 Published On: 14 July 2012

How to Cite: Oreste, P. (2012). Stability of Rock Pillars with Singular and Persistent Discontinuities. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 9(9), 1354-1372.

  • 1 Citations



  • Rock pillar
  • natural discontinuity
  • shear strength
  • safety factor