Excavations & Open Pit Mines

GeoStudio provides comprehensive tools for analyzing excavations & open pit mines.

The analytical challenge

Excavations cover a broad range of geotechnical engineering from building construction to open pit mining and can be the basis for a wide range of analyses. Common to all issues in this category are the release of insitu stresses when the soil or rock is unloaded. In addition, the presence of water in the ground or free water on the surface can greatly change the excavation behaviour from a seepage and stability perspective.

The GeoStudio solution

GeoStudio establishes insitu stresses and pore-water pressure conditions so that upon removal of the ground, rebound displacements can be computed. Steady state or transient pore-water flow systems can be simulated and incorporated into dewatering and stability evaluations. Detailed stress paths can be monitored during transient changes in pore-water pressure. In an advanced analysis, a slope failure in a pit can be accounted for as a result of a sudden collapse of unstable ground. A dynamic earthquake analysis assesses potential for generation of excess pore-water pressures in the ground or plastic deformation due to stress-redistribution.

Solution Examples

Explore documented examples of how GeoStudio can effectively analyze excavations and open pit mines.

Download GeoStudio to view GSZ files

Excavations Below the Water Table

Negative pore water pressures may result from the unloading associated with excavations. GeoStudio can model the changes in pore water pressure following an excavation and resulting from changing hydraulic boundary conditions on excavation faces.

Download the GeoStudio data files
Read the analysis details

Braced Deep Excavations

GeoStudio can simulate the behavior of deep shored excavations in soft ground. For example, GeoStudio can accurately model the 6 case histories presented in Halim and Wong’s paper in Underground Singapore (2005), where deflections of the shoring walls were measured during construction.

Download the GeoStudio data files
Read the analysis details

Rock Joint and Rock Mass Shear Strength for Pit Wall Models

SLOPE/W can be used to model the stability of rock slopes using various strength models such as the Barton and Choubey (1977) and Miller (1988) for rock joints or the anisotropic function to model rock mass with linearly anisotropic strength.

Download the GeoStudio data files
Read the analysis details

Progressive Failure of Excavations in Stiff Plastic Clays

The coupled stress and pore water pressure formulation available in SIGMA/W can be used to simulate time-dependent pore water pressure responses and deformations (i.e. swelling) following an excavation in stiff plastic clays.

Download the GeoStudio data files
Read the analysis details

Related products

GeoStudio includes five integrated products that work in combination to provide effective analysis of excavations & open pit mines.



Stability analysis of soil and rock slopes.

Learn More



Finite element analysis of groundwater flow in saturated / unsaturated porous media.

Learn More



Finite element stress and deformation analysis of earth and structural materials.

Learn More



Finite element analysis of earthquake liquefaction and dynamic loading.

Learn More


Finite element analysis of heat transfer and phase change in porous media.

Learn More

Explore all solutions

GeoStudio's integrated products enable you to work across a broad range of engineering use cases.