Slope-Stability Problems of Circum-Pacific Region as Related to Mineral and Energy Resources1
The varied geologic, topographic, and atmospheric conditions in the Circum-Pacific area have led to the development of all the types of movements to which both natural and constructed slopes are subject. These slope movements have resulted in significant loss of life and property and, in many instances, have affected the planning or operation of works related to the development of mineral and energy resources. Although many slope failures have been initiated by active seismic and volcanic processes, which are almost ubiquitous in the region, many are equally the result of local high relief, weak rocks and soil, rapid weathering, heavy rainfall, or the works of man.
Landslides have disrupted wells in a producing oil field and broken a major oil pipeline. Underwater slope failures are a hazard to potential petroleum extractions in many parts of the continental shelves and slopes of the Circum-Pacific region, and have destroyed petroleum handling and storage facilities at ports. Many wells at the world’s largest geothermal electrical power field are on old landslides, and unstable slopes have caused blowouts. The development of hydroelectric energy in countries of the region has depended in many places on solving slope-stability problems at the sites of the dams, tunnels, powerhouses, penstocks, and reservoirs. Failures of open-pit mine slopes and of waste piles and tailings dams emphasize the need for careful analysis and design of manmade slopes.
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The energy and mineral resources of the vast Pacific basin and its neighboring land areas play a vital role in meeting the ever-growing needs of society worldwide. Building on the foundation of a highly successful conference held in 1978, this volume contains 51 of the 135 papers presented there. Subjects included are general and specific in nature--oil, gas, and coal resources; geothermal fields, uranium; tin; evaporites, trace elements; water resources; magma energy and fuels from magma. Geological and geophysical techniques, and also the new tool of remote sending for petroleum and minerals exploration are represented. Tectonics, structure fundamentals, subsurface hazards, international treaties and the law of the deep sea are discussed. Seventeen countries and regions are represented in these papers: Thailand, Nicaragua, the United States, Japan, Peru, Antarctica, El Salvador, Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, New Zealand, China, Chile, Indonesia, Canada, and the Pacific Ocean.