Abstract

In situ measurements of the stresses acting in a mine beneath the calcareous Hochkonig massif in Austria yielded the result that the currently acting stresses are qualitatively in agreement with those that would be expected if the stresses were caused solely by the weight of the overburden. It is our purpose to test further the above qualitative observation by making a two-dimensional finite-element calculation of the self-gravitational stresses in a geomechanical model of the mountain massif hi question by using the real elastic properties and the real rock densities. It is shown that these calculated stresses agree with the observed ones, which confirms the hypothesis that the measured stresses are indeed self-gravitationally induced. We believe that this example further demonstrates the power of the finite-element method for the construction of geomechanical models of real, natural structures.

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