Time-Dependent Behaviour Of Hard Rock In Deep Level Gold Mines

Malan, D. F.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 14
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1997
In deep level hard rock mining the rheological behaviour of the rock is important as time-dependent aseismic processes can lead to a stable dissipation of energy thus reducing violent outbursts. Underground closure measurements, observations of time-dependent fracture formation and siesmic data indicate that the rock in deep South African gold mines shows significant time-dependent behaviour. The objective of this work is to quantify the time-dependent rock behaviour for laboratory specimens and underground conditions. Laboratory experiments indicated that lava and quartzite specimens undergo measurable creep strain at stress magnitudes below the failure stress. Quartzite is however prone to more significant creep at lower stress levels. A viscoelastic analysis showed that laboratory creep results can not fully explain the behaviour observed underground. The in situ behaviour is governed mainly by the rheological behaviour of the fracture zone and the resulting time-dependent formation of new fractures. A viscoplastic discontinuity model implemented in a boundary element program is used to simulate this behaviour.
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