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Basal Joint Tutorial 9-1

Basal Joint Tutorial

This tutorial will demonstrate the basal joint option in Swedge which
allows you to include a third sliding joint plane in the analysis.

Background

In previous versions of Swedge (version 5.0 and earlier) wedges were


always formed by only two intersecting joint planes. The resulting wedges
are tetrahedral (4-sided) when considering the intersection of the 2 joint
planes with the 2 slope surface planes (slope face and upper face).

As of Swedge version 6.0 you can now define an optional third sliding
joint plane with the Basal Joint option. This allows you to analyze more
complex sliding blocks which are pentahedral (5-sided) when considering
the intersection of the 3 joint planes with the 2 slope surface planes.

Block Shape Option

To begin with we will start with the default wedge which appears when
you create a new Swedge file. Start the Swedge program. The default
input data forms a tetrahedral wedge.

Now go to the Project Settings dialog.

Select: Analysis Project Settings

On the General tab of the Project Settings dialog, you will see a Block
Shape option. The default setting of Block Shape = Wedge, which refers
to tetrahedral wedges formed by the intersection of 2 joint planes.

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Select Block Shape = Basal Joint and select OK.

You will see that the default tetrahedral wedge model now has an
additional plane along the bottom of the wedge. This additional plane is
referred to as the Basal Joint.

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Basal Joint Tutorial 9-3

If you slide the wedge out of the slope (click and drag the wedge
downwards with the mouse) you can see the three sliding joint planes
including the basal joint at the bottom of the wedge.

NOTE: for basal joint analysis, the wedge can be moved DOWN the slope
by clicking and dragging with the mouse, but it cannot be moved UP the
line of intersection, due to the differing wedge geometry compared to
tetrahedral wedges (which can be moved up or down).

Basal Joint Properties

The properties of the basal joint are defined in the same way as the other
joint properties, in the Input Data dialog.

Select: Analysis Input Data

Select the Basal Plane tab. As you can see, the orientation and shear
strength properties of the basal joint are defined in exactly the same way
as the other two joint planes (Joint1 and Joint 2).

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Basal Joint Tutorial 9-4

Now experiment with entering different orientations for the Basal Joint
plane. Observe the variety of wedge shapes which can be formed. For
example, if you enter Dip = 44 / Dip Direction = 180, you should see the
wedge shown below.

If you slide the wedge out of the slope, you can see that the basal plane,
for this orientation, daylights in the upper face and front face of the slope,
leading to a primarily planar wedge shape.

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In general, when you include a basal plane in the analysis (Block Shape =
Basal Joint), a much wider variety of wedge shapes can be analyzed
compared to the tetrahedral wedge option (Block Shape = Wedge in
Project Settings).

Notes about Basal Joint Analysis

Most of the Swedge features and analysis options which are applicable for
tetrahedral wedges, can also be used with basal joint wedges, and operate
in the same manner. For example:

Tension Cracks
Probabilistic Analysis
Combination Analysis
Scale Wedges
Support
Water Pressure

and other features can all be applied to basal joint wedges.

However, certain options are not available for basal joint wedges. For
example:

The Bench Design option cannot be used with basal joint


wedges, and is only applicable for tetrahedral wedges
If a Tension Crack is included, you must specify the location of
the tension crack. The Minimum FS Location and Use Bench
Width to Maximize options are not available.

In general, you may notice a few differences in available options, and how
they work depending on the block shape (tetrahedral or basal joint).

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Bench Width and Slope Length


Another aspect of basal joint analysis that should be pointed out, is the
following:

For basal joint wedges, the Bench Width and Slope Length
options are always automatically enabled (checkbox is selected)
and they cannot be turned off.

The reason for this is not obvious, and is as follows. If you DO NOT
specify constraints for the Bench Width and/or Slope Length, wedges with
a basal joint tend to infinite size in the bench width or slope length
directions. To overcome this problem, we automatically apply these
constraints for all basal joint analyses.

This is a rather non-intuitive but important aspect of basal joint analysis.


The Bench Width and Slope Length constraints are ALWAYS ENABLED.
In general, it may be necessary for you to customize the values of Bench
Width and/or Slope Length in order to obtain the desired analysis results.

NOTE: in general, you do not necessarily need both constraints, only one
may be sufficient (i.e. either Bench Width or Slope Length) in order to
constrain the wedge size from becoming infinite. However, since we do
not know in advance which constraint is required, Swedge automatically
applies both of these constraints all of the time. Remember, you can
always increase the values of either Bench Width or Slope Length, if
necessary, to obtain the desired result, if the default values are too small.

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Socket Wedges
If you return to the Project Settings dialog, you will notice the Include
Socket Wedges checkbox beside the Basal Joint option.

When you analyze wedges with a Basal Joint, a variety of complex wedge
shapes can potentially be generated. One of these wedge types is referred
to as a Socket Wedge which is defined as a removable wedge which does
not intersect the crest of the slope. One example is shown below.

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This example is a simple tetrahedral wedge formed by Joint 1, Joint 2


and the basal joint forming a removable wedge which can be removed
from the front of the slope. Since it does not intersect the crest of the
slope it is referred to as a Socket Wedge (i.e. wedge occupies a socket in
the slope).

Other more complicated shapes can be generated for example the wedge
below, which daylights in both the slope face and upper face, but does not
intersect the crest.

By default Swedge will compute and analyze socket wedges if you are
using the Basal Joint option. If you do not wish to consider these wedges,
you can turn off the Include Socket Wedges checkbox. In this case, any
Socket Wedges which are generated will be reduced in size until they
intersect the crest, at which point they are no longer technically socket
wedges.

For a summary of all possible wedge shapes which can be generated by a


Basal Joint analysis, see the Basal Joint Wedge Types document in the
Swedge Theory Section of the Swedge Help system.

Swedge v.6.0 Tutorial Manual