The Analysis of the Seepage Characteristics of Tailing Dams Based on FLAC3D Numerical Simulation

Li Yuan*, *, 1, 3, Jia Lei2, 3
1 Key Lab of Sustainable Utilization and Exploitation of Water Recourses of Heibei Province, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, 050031, P.R. China
2 College of Civil Engineering, Lanzhou Jiaotong University, Lanzhou,Gansu, 730070, P.R. China
3 Shijiazhuang University of Economics, Shijiazhuang, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, 050031, P.R. China

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© 2015 Yuan and Lei;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Business and Administration North China Electric Power University, 102206, P.R. China; Tel: +8618947102205; E-mail:


In this paper, the Guangxi’s red mud disposal field is taken as the study area. Appropriate calculating parameters and boundary conditions were selected based on the survey data to build a Mohr-Coul0mb and fluid model under the plane-strain condition. FLAC software was adopted to simulate the distribution of pore water pressure, filtrate seepage paths, and leakage of the dam body under conditions with no anti-seepage design, with partial anti-seepage design and with full anti-seepage design respectively, which provided a technical base for the anti-seepage design of this tailing reservoir. The results showed that this software could better simulate the leakage of red mud tailing dams. The reservoir area displayed obvious leakage characteristics, so full anti-seepage measures and appropriate seepage-proofing materials should be employed to deal with the dam body and the reservoir area to prevent environmental pollution and guarantee the stability of the tailing dams. The method not also can provide the technical reference for the evaluation of anti-seepage works, but also gives important guidance for the anti-seepage works.

Keywords: Tailing dams, leakage, FLAC3D, numerical Simulation.