Mine Seismicity and Rockburst Risk Management
Project Leader: Johan Wesseloo
Small seismic events, or “rock talking”, are normal in most underground mines. However, in extreme circumstances severe rockburst damage can be done to underground excavations, posing a safety risk to the workforce and economic, production and sustainability risks to a mining operation. Broadly speaking, a seismic event is a rock mass vibration caused by the failure, fracture or slip in a rockmass. Traditionally, a rockburst is defined as a seismic event that does visible rock mass damage.
Since its commencement in 1999, the goal of the ACG’s mine seismicity research has been to advance the application of seismic monitoring in the mining industry to quantify and mitigate the risk of mine seismicity and rockbursting. This has involved close involvement at research sponsors' mine sites by conducting detailed site seismic data analysis, carrying out testing or experimental work and providing seismic system technical support and advice when required. Another important component has been the training of mine site practitioners through courses and conferences and building the expertise needed in Australia to address the problem by having a number of undergraduate and post-graduate students involved in the research. Two PhDs and one Masters project have been associated with the ACG’s mine seismicity research, with another two PhDs in progress. Eight final year undergraduate projects have also been associated with the project, with final year students placed at sponsors' mine sites over their summer break.
One of the main deliverables of the ACG’s mine seismicity research has been the development of the Mine Seismicity Risk Analysis Program (MS-RAP). This software package is designed to assist in the analysis and management of mine seismicity so that site personnel can spend more time on data interpretation rather than data manipulation and data management. MS-RAP is a purpose-built relational database, with built-in mine seismology tools. The program incorporates a self-similar clustering technique to separate seismic data into individual seismic sources. Data analysis techniques built into the current version of MS-RAP (v3.1) include:
MS-RAP is only available to sponsors of the ACG’s mine seismicity and rockburst risk management project. As of early 2006 there were 15 mines in Australia and Canada using the software. For more information contact Paul Harris or Johan Wesseloo at the ACG.
Phase 3 of the ACG’s Mine Seismicity research commenced at the start of 2006. The current phase maintains the same broad objectives and aims to continue the implementation of the tools developed in the previous phases of the research and to develop them further. There are a number of new research topics included in the third phase. These include:
Click here for an overview of this ten year project.
Phase Three Project Sponsors
Surface Sensor Sponsors
Phase Four Project Sponsors