Stability Assessment of the Gökgöl Karstic Cave (Zonguldak, Turkey) by Analytical and Numerical Methods


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January 2015


Turkey has many cave formations and some caves are important tourist attractions. Theses caves have natural and historical characteristics that need to be investigated and protected. An important rock engineering topic is the identification of possible rock falls and collapses in caves that are open to the public and planning preventive measures. In this study, the locations and types of instability problems were identified along a section of 875 m of the Gökgöl cave in Zonguldak, Turkey. The main instabilities were identified as block falls controlled by discontinuities, rock block sliding, and flexural toppling. To obtain the intact rock and rock mass properties of the stratified limestone which is the host rock of the cave, field and laboratory studies were conducted. Stability assessments for four different sections inside the cave were carried out using numerical and analytical methods, and the results were compared. The results of the analyses revealed that some countermeasures and precautions must be implemented to increase the stability in some areas of the Gökgöl cave, especially those which have potential for regional failure.


Stability, Cave, Analytical Analyses, Numerical Analyses

Document Type



Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, Vol. 48, no. 6 (2015).