Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: rock mass

8 Delineating Concern Ground in Block Caving – Underground Mine Using Ground Penetrating Radar

Authors: Eric Sitorus, Septian Prahastudhi, Turgod Nainggolan, Erwin Riyanto

Abstract:

Mining by block or panel caving is a mining method that takes advantage of fractures within an ore body, coupled with gravity, to extract material from a predetermined column of ore. The caving column is weakened from beneath through the use of undercutting, after which the ore breaks up and is extracted from below in a continuous cycle. The nature of this method induces cyclical stresses on the pillars of excavations as stress is built up and released over time, which has a detrimental effect on both the installed ground support and the rock mass itself. Ground support capacity, especially on the production where excavation void ratio is highest, is subjected to heavy loading. Strain above threshold of the elongation of support capacity can yield resulting in damage to excavations. Geotechnical engineers must evaluate not only the remnant capacity of ground support systems but also investigate depth of rock mass yield within pillars, backs and floors. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a geophysical method that has the ability to evaluate rock mass damage using electromagnetic waves. This paper illustrates a case study from the Grasberg mining complex where non-invasive information on the depth of damage and condition of the remaining rock mass was required. GPR with 100 MHz antenna resolution was used to obtain images of the subsurface to determine rehabilitation requirements prior to recommencing production activities. The GPR surveys were used to calibrate the reflection coefficient response of varying rock mass conditions to known Rock Quality Designation (RQD) parameters observed at the mine. The calibrated GPR survey allowed site engineers to map subsurface conditions and plan rehabilitation accordingly.

Keywords: Block caving, ground penetrating radar, reflectivity, RQD.

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7 Evaluation of Geomechanical and Geometrical Parameters’ Effects on Hydro-Mechanical Estimation of Water Inflow into Underground Excavations

Authors: M. Mazraehli, F. Mehrabani, S. Zare

Abstract:

In general, mechanical and hydraulic processes are not independent of each other in jointed rock masses. Therefore, the study on hydro-mechanical coupling of geomaterials should be a center of attention in rock mechanics. Rocks in their nature contain discontinuities whose presence extremely influences mechanical and hydraulic characteristics of the medium. Assuming this effect, experimental investigations on intact rock cannot help to identify jointed rock mass behavior. Hence, numerical methods are being used for this purpose. In this paper, water inflow into a tunnel under significant water table has been estimated using hydro-mechanical discrete element method (HM-DEM). Besides, effects of geomechanical and geometrical parameters including constitutive model, friction angle, joint spacing, dip of joint sets, and stress factor on the estimated inflow rate have been studied. Results demonstrate that inflow rates are not identical for different constitutive models. Also, inflow rate reduces with increased spacing and stress factor.

Keywords: Distinct element method, fluid flow, hydro-mechanical coupling, jointed rock mass, underground excavations.

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6 Numerical Modeling of Determination of in situ Rock Mass Deformation Modulus Using the Plate Load Test

Authors: A. Khodabakhshi, A. Mortazavi

Abstract:

Accurate determination of rock mass deformation modulus, as an important design parameter, is one of the most controversial issues in most engineering projects. A 3D numerical model of standard plate load test (PLT) using the FLAC3D code was carried to investigate the mechanism governing the test process. Five objectives were the focus of this study. The first goal was to employ 3D modeling in the interpretation of PLT conducted at the Bazoft dam site, Iran. The second objective was to investigate the effect of displacements measuring depth from the loading plates on the calculated moduli. The magnitude of rock mass deformation modulus calculated from PLT depends on anchor depth, and in practice, this may be a cause of error in the selection of realistic deformation modulus for the rock mass. The third goal of the study was to investigate the effect of testing plate diameter on the calculated modulus. Moreover, a comparison of the calculated modulus from ISRM formula, numerical modeling and calculated modulus from the actual PLT carried out at right abutment of the Bazoft dam site was another objective of the study. Finally, the effect of plastic strains on the calculated moduli in each of the loading-unloading cycles for three loading plates was investigated. The geometry, material properties, and boundary conditions on the constructed 3D model were selected based on the in-situ conditions of PLT at Bazoft dam site. A good agreement was achieved between numerical model results and the field tests results.

Keywords: Deformation modulus, numerical model, plate loading test, rock mass.

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5 Considerations for Effectively Using Probability of Failure as a Means of Slope Design Appraisal for Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Rock Masses

Authors: Neil Bar, Andrew Heweston

Abstract:

Probability of failure (PF) often appears alongside factor of safety (FS) in design acceptance criteria for rock slope, underground excavation and open pit mine designs. However, the design acceptance criteria generally provide no guidance relating to how PF should be calculated for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses, or what qualifies a ‘reasonable’ PF assessment for a given slope design. Observational and kinematic methods were widely used in the 1990s until advances in computing permitted the routine use of numerical modelling. In the 2000s and early 2010s, PF in numerical models was generally calculated using the point estimate method. More recently, some limit equilibrium analysis software offer statistical parameter inputs along with Monte-Carlo or Latin-Hypercube sampling methods to automatically calculate PF. Factors including rock type and density, weathering and alteration, intact rock strength, rock mass quality and shear strength, the location and orientation of geologic structure, shear strength of geologic structure and groundwater pore pressure influence the stability of rock slopes. Significant engineering and geological judgment, interpretation and data interpolation is usually applied in determining these factors and amalgamating them into a geotechnical model which can then be analysed. Most factors are estimated ‘approximately’ or with allowances for some variability rather than ‘exactly’. When it comes to numerical modelling, some of these factors are then treated deterministically (i.e. as exact values), while others have probabilistic inputs based on the user’s discretion and understanding of the problem being analysed. This paper discusses the importance of understanding the key aspects of slope design for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses and how they can be translated into reasonable PF assessments where the data permits. A case study from a large open pit gold mine in a complex geological setting in Western Australia is presented to illustrate how PF can be calculated using different methods and obtain markedly different results. Ultimately sound engineering judgement and logic is often required to decipher the true meaning and significance (if any) of some PF results.

Keywords: Probability of failure, point estimate method, Monte-Carlo simulations, sensitivity analysis, slope stability.

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4 Numerical Modelling of Shear Zone and Its Implications on Slope Instability at Letšeng Diamond Open Pit Mine, Lesotho

Authors: M. Ntšolo, D. Kalumba, N. Lefu, G. Letlatsa

Abstract:

Rock mass damage due to shear tectonic activity has been investigated largely in geoscience where fluid transport is of major interest. However, little has been studied on the effect of shear zones on rock mass behavior and its impact on stability of rock slopes. At Letšeng Diamonds open pit mine in Lesotho, the shear zone composed of sheared kimberlite material, calcite and altered basalt is forming part of the haul ramp into the main pit cut 3. The alarming rate at which the shear zone is deteriorating has triggered concerns about both local and global stability of pit the walls. This study presents the numerical modelling of the open pit slope affected by shear zone at Letšeng Diamond Mine (LDM). Analysis of the slope involved development of the slope model by using a two-dimensional finite element code RS2. Interfaces between shear zone and host rock were represented by special joint elements incorporated in the finite element code. The analysis of structural geological mapping data provided a good platform to understand the joint network. Major joints including shear zone were incorporated into the model for simulation. This approach proved successful by demonstrating that continuum modelling can be used to evaluate evolution of stresses, strain, plastic yielding and failure mechanisms that are consistent with field observations. Structural control due to geological shear zone structure proved to be important in its location, size and orientation. Furthermore, the model analyzed slope deformation and sliding possibility along shear zone interfaces. This type of approach can predict shear zone deformation and failure mechanism, hence mitigation strategies can be deployed for safety of human lives and property within mine pits.

Keywords: Numerical modeling, open pit mine, shear zone, slope stability.

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3 Rock Slope Stabilization and Protection for Roads and Multi-Storey Structures in Jabal Omar, Saudi Arabia

Authors: Ibrahim Abdel Gadir Malik, Dafalla Siddig Dafalla, Abdelazim Ibrahim

Abstract:

Jabal Omar is located in the western side of Makkah city in Saudi Arabia. The proposed Jabal Omar Development project includes several multi-storey buildings, roads, bridges and below ground structures founded at various depths. In this study, geological mapping and site inspection which covered pre-selected areas were carried out within the easily accessed parts. Geological features; including rock types, structures, degree of weathering, and geotechnical hazards were observed and analyzed with specified software and also were documented in form of photographs. The presence of joints and fractures in the area made the rock blocks small and weak. The site is full of jointing; it was observed that, the northern side consists of 3 to 4 jointing systems with 2 random fractures associated with dykes. The southern part is affected by 2 to 3 jointing systems with minor fault and shear zones. From the field measurements and observations, it was concluded that, the Jabal Omar intruded by andesitic and basaltic dykes of different thickness and orientation. These dykes made the outcrop weak, highly deformed and made the rock masses sensitive to weathering.

Keywords: Rock, slope, stabilization, protection, Makkah.

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2 Effect of Model Dimension in Numerical Simulation on Assessment of Water Inflow to Tunnel in Discontinues Rock

Authors: Hadi Farhadian, Homayoon Katibeh

Abstract:

Groundwater inflow to the tunnels is one of the most important problems in tunneling operation. The objective of this study is the investigation of model dimension effects on tunnel inflow assessment in discontinuous rock masses using numerical modeling. In the numerical simulation, the model dimension has an important role in prediction of water inflow rate. When the model dimension is very small, due to low distance to the tunnel border, the model boundary conditions affect the estimated amount of groundwater flow into the tunnel and results show a very high inflow to tunnel. Hence, in this study, the two-dimensional universal distinct element code (UDEC) used and the impact of different model parameters, such as tunnel radius, joint spacing, horizontal and vertical model domain extent has been evaluated. Results show that the model domain extent is a function of the most significant parameters, which are tunnel radius and joint spacing.

Keywords: Water inflow, Tunnel, Discontinues rock, Numerical simulation.

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1 Case Studies of CSAMT Method Applied to Study of Complex Rock Mass Structure and Hidden Tectonic

Authors: Yuxin Chen, Qingyun Di, C. Dinis da Gama

Abstract:

In projects like waterpower, transportation and mining, etc., proving up the rock-mass structure and hidden tectonic to estimate the geological body-s activity is very important. Integrating the seismic results, drilling and trenching data, CSAMT method was carried out at a planning dame site in southwest China to evaluate the stability of a deformation. 2D and imitated 3D inversion resistivity results of CSAMT method were analyzed. The results indicated that CSAMT was an effective method for defining an outline of deformation body to several hundred meters deep; the Lung Pan Deformation was stable in natural conditions; but uncertain after the future reservoir was impounded. This research presents a good case study of the fine surveying and research on complex geological structure and hidden tectonic in engineering project.

Keywords: CSAMT Surveying, Deformation Stability.

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