Riprap Design for Rock Cover for Mine GeoWaste Facilities

I am working on a new EduMine course on Cover.  It will probably be a year or so before it is available.  SO here is some interesting information I compiled yesterday.

Undoubtedly the best way to control erosion on sideslope covers is to place a layer of durable rock. We perfected the design procedures on the UMTRA Project, and full details of the design and analytical approaches can be found in the Technical Approach Document. The methods described in the Technical Approach Document for selection of the size of the rock are based on methods described in Methodologies for Evaluating Long-term Stabilization Design of Uranium Mill Tailings Impoundments NUREG/CR-4620 and Development of Riprap Design Criteria by Riprap Testing in Flumes NUREG/CR-4651. It is worth downloading these three documents and reading them even if you never need to calculate the size of rock for cover erosion control. At the very least see a magnificent summary of the methods in a paper Erosion Cover Design for Disposal Sites by Berg Keshian and Mike Bone, who in truth deserve the credit for the methods and their practical implementation.

The guidance documents referenced above were written in the 1980s. Since then many more rip rap design guidance documents have been published. One that is easy to read is Riprap Design and Construction Guide from the British Columbia Ministry of Environment. Many other jurisdictions have published similar guidance document that focus on local conditions and requirements. A good example is the National Cooperative Highway Research Program’s Report 568 Riprap Design Criteria, Recommended Specifications, and Quality Control. Seek them out if you need to size the rock for a cover. Finally see Steven Abt’s 2013 assessment of the many methods for designing riprap in the paper Evaluation of overtopping riprap design relationships. A good example calculation of the rock size is at this link which is an appendix to the Sequoyah Facility Reclamation Plan.

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