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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19183

Title: Investigation of the Pre to Post Peak Strength State and Behaviour of Confined Rock Masses Using Mine Induced Microseismicity
Authors: Coulson, Adam Lee
Advisor: Bawden, William
Department: Civil Engineering
Keywords: Point of Disassociation
PCA Analysis
Post Peak Behaviour
Strain Softening Behaviour
Ductile Behaviour
Seismic Source Parameters
Fault Plane Solutions
Brittle Damage Limits
Hoek Brown Criteria
Macrofracture Shear Zone
SMART Cables
Brittle Failure
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2010
Abstract: As hard rock mining progresses into higher stress mining conditions through either late stage extraction or mining at depth, the rock mass is driven not just to the peak strength, but often well into the post-peak until complete ‘failure’ occurs and easier mining conditions become evident. Limited research has been accomplished in identifying the transition of the rock mass and its behaviour into the post-peak and this research investigates this behaviour in detail. As the rock mass progressively fails, fractures are initiated through intact rock and extension and shear failure of these and pre-existing features occurs. Associated with this failure are microseismic events, which can be used to give an indication of the strength state of the rock mass. Based on an analogy to laboratory testing of intact rock and measurement of acoustic emissions, the microseismicity can be used to identify, fracture initiation, coalescence of fractures (yield), localization (peak-strength), accumulation of damage (post-peak) and ultimate failure (residual strength) leading to aseismic behaviour. The case studies presented in this thesis provide an opportunity to examine and analyse rock mass failure into the post-peak, through the regional and confined failures at the Williams and the Golden Giant mines, both in the Hemlo camp in Northern Ontario, Canada. At the Williams mine, the progressive failure of a sill pillar region into the post-peak was analysed; relating the seismic event density, combined with numerical modelling and a spatial and temporal examination of the principal components analysis (PCA), to characterize the extent, trend and state of the yielding zone, which formed a macrofracture shear structure. Observations of conventional displacement instrumentation, indicates regional dilation or shear of the rock mass occurs at or prior to the point of ‘disassociation’ (breakdown of stable PCA trends) when approaching the residual strength. At the Golden Giant mine, the complete process from initiation to aseismic behaviour is monitored in a highly stressed and confined pendent pillar. The PCA technique, numerical modelling and focal mechanism studies are used to define significant stages of the failure process, in which a similar macrofracture structure was formed. Temporal observations of key source parameters show significant changes prior to and at the point of coalescence and localization.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19183
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Civil Engineering - Doctoral theses

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