LOP Slope

Developed for the Large Open Pit (LOP) mining research consortium, the LOP Slope Model used the smooth-joint contact model and specialized FISH routines within PFC2D along with Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) simulation to represent a rock mass and pre-mining stress field. The model is calibrated based on joint data from pit wall mapping, intact rock strengths from laboratory testing and discontinuity property estimates. The 2D joint traces were extracted from a three-dimensional Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) developed using 3FLO. The state of the model shown here is prior to excavation of the pit. During the simulation of open pit mining, the resulting slope exhibited creep-like movements as a result of sliding along in-dipping joints and associated toppling. The depth and extent of toppling increased with mining. The overall behavior is consistent with what has been observed in the actual open pit slope.


  • 333,341 particles (average particle diameter: 1.3 meters)
  • 40,225 discontinuities (8 fault sets and 2 joint sets)
  • 38,656 blocks
  • Height: 500 meters
  • Length: 1,000 meters

* The image above shows only 6.8% of the entire LOP model.