Stereological Sampling And Analysis For Characterizing Discontinuous Rock Masses

Owens, J. K.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1994
As part of a larger research effort focused on ground control, the U.S. Bureau of Mines is currently evaluating the effectiveness of using stereological analysis for characterizing mine roof strata. Input for a stereological analysis of a rock mass is best obtained by scanning (imaging) the walls of clean drill holes using a video-imaging borescope or other video device. Two classes of features are being investigated: (1) Lithologic types that comprise the overall rock mass and (2) structural discontinuities (e.g., joints, foliation, bedding planes) within a given lithologic unit. In the former, the volume fraction of a given Lithologic unit in relation to the entire rock mass can be estimated. In the latter, the mean intercept length between adjacent structures and surface area density of the geologic structures can be estimated. Examples of sampling procedures and subsequent computations are presented for several situations using information collected from drill holes in roofs of underground mines. One such example is based on the trace of a cycloid curve used as a stereological sampling path on the cylindrical wall of a drill hole. Stereological measures, such as intercept length, volume fraction, and surface area density, are explained in the context of rock mass characterization.
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