Spoil piles in coal mine areas in north-central West Virginia suffer from numerous landslide problems. An investigation to determine the causes of these slides showed that the stratigraphic composition, the nature of the foundation soils, the seasonal high water table and the mining technique contributed to the instability. The presence of red shales is identified as a key problem.Several models of failure were investigated based on inclinometer data. These data suggest that multiple failure surfaces may develop in spoil piles. In such cases, the initial failure surface is better defined than other movement surfaces, which either represent subsequent failures that occur in response to placement of additional spoil materials, or are shear zones of readjustment following initial failure. Results show that failures are most likely initiated along the spoil-natural ground interface and propagate slowly into the spoil mass.
Engineering Geology 07/1986; 22(4-22):317-333. DOI:10.1016/0013-7952(86)90002-5