Geophysics For The Detection Of Abandoned Mine Workings

Phillips, Christopher
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2003
In light of recent events in the mining industry, there has been an increasing demand for technology to detect underground voids and abandoned mine workings. This paper summarizes the use of geophysical methods for this application. Geophysical methods have been successfully employed in the detection of underground voids in several disciplines, including foundation analysis, road and infrastructure analysis, and darn analysis, but is not yet being widely employed by the mining industry. The principal reasons are that the combination of the complex geological setting of a mine, mine design, surface conditions, and improper choice of geophysical method often makes the task of locating abandoned mine workings with geophysics a frustrating, time consuming, and often unsuccessful venture. While there are several geophysical methods that have been demonstrated for the successful detection of abandoned mine workings, there is still no 'silver bullet' to solve the problem in every case. The choice of geophysical method to detect abandoned mine workings should be made on a site specific, and sometimes target specific, level. This paper reviews current methods, and introduces recently developed methods, for the detection of underground voids and abandoned mine workings.
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