Mining Publication: Comparison of Seismic Tomography, Strain Relief, and Ultrasonic Velocity Measurements to Evaluate Stress in an Underground Pillar
Personnel from the Spokane Research Laboratory, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, examined an underground pillar at the Homestake Mine, Lead, SD. Investigations involved strain relief and seismic tomography studies in the mine, and ultrasonic velocity measurements on pillar core in the laboratory. Measured octahedral normal stress was 37 MPa (5,366psi); seismic P-wave velocities averaged 5.2 km/s (17,060 ft/s); and ultrasonic velocities at a pressure of 39.6 MPa (5,750 psi) averaged 6.3 km/s (20,669 ft/s). The difference between in-mine and laboratory velocities is attributed to the attenuation of seismic energy by mine fractures larger and more numerous than those in the samples of core measured in the laboratory. Using these results, researchers hypothesize that pillar rocks have the ability to withstand stress an order of magnitude greater than they currently sustain.