Rock Mass Behaviour Under Seismic Loading In A Deep Mine Environment: Implications For Stope Support

Cichowicz, A.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
In this study, techniques used to design earthquake-resistant structures are applied to the deep-level mining environment. Earthquake engineers seek to identify the cause of potentially damaging resonance, and design or reinforce structures to reduce these effects. Similar techniques have been used to analyse the dynamic behaviour of the rock mass surrounding a stope in a deep South African gold mine. A three-dimensional seismic array installed in a stope at TauTona Mine (previously Western Deep Levels, East Mine) provided an opportunity to examine the evolution of the wave field close to an underground opening. A set of three-component geophones installed in a borehole above the panel revealed the development of surface waves as wave fronts reached the excavation, and an array of vertical component geophones fixed to the hangingwall provided a two-dimensional map of site effects. While the collected data do not include damaging seismic events, quantitative analysis enabled phenomena which could lead to damage, to be recognized. In the vicinity of the excavation, the energy of the seismic signal is generally transformed from high frequency to low frequency. It was found that seismic events with relatively high corner frequency (150 Hz?200 Hz) usually excite several modes of vibration (30 Hz to 110 Hz), while events with low corner frequency (30 Hz?50 Hz) do not always excite higher modes of vibration in the structure. This implies that the rock mass around the excavation is a complex medium, and should be studied using the multi-degree-of-freedom model. A strong structural effect (due to the excavation shape) was revealed as a low frequency coda wave (at 40 Hz and 60?70 Hz), well developed on the skin of the hangingwall. A strong site effect was revealed by changes in signal properties between hangingwall geophones, exhibiting strong resonances around 160 Hz and in the range 200 Hz to 300 Hz.
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