Tensile roof failure arising from horizontal compressive stress and geological slips

Bugden, Alan
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2003
Goedehoop colliery in South Africa has experienced a number of substantial roof falls in roadways and intersections. Many of these have been associated with geological slips and/or horizontal compressive stresses. This paper describes a numerical modelling study conducted after one such fall with the objective of clarifying the roof failure mechanism associated with these falls. The fall was located at an intersection and occurred as the last cut was being made to complete the intersection. One bounding surface of the fall was formed by the geological slip; the others were formed by fresh failure surfaces. The fall took place despite the slip being identified as a hazard and additional bolts being placed by the workforce. In conjunction with the modelling work tests were conducted on samples from the roof in which the fall occurred, these gave a U.C.S. of 80 -100MPa. Several in-situ stress tests had already been conducted at the mine; a further test was conducted close to the fall site. The tests show that the largest stresses are horizontal. However, the maximum stresses of 6-12MPa are small compared to the compressive strength of the root. Computer modelling highlighted a mechanism arising from the conjunction of a geological slip and horizontal compressive stresses that could result in tensile failure of the roof leading to the fall. Sensitivity studies were conducted to identify risk factors associated with this mechanism and the modelling results used to assist in formulating a support strategy to combat falls of this nature.
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