Mining Publication: Remote Monitoring of Mine Seismicity and Earthquakes Using Radio Telemetry, Computers, and the Internet
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Stillwater Mining Company worked cooperatively with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology to develop a system that would collect seismic data at the Stillwater and East Boulder mines. The purpose was to obtain baseline information on the magnitude and location of mining-induced seismicity to determine if the mines needed multi-channel in-mine monitoring systems. Seismic data recorded at field sites near the mines are being telemetered via FM radio through a series of repeaters to a central recording site where the seismic signals are digitized using an Earthworm data acquisition system. The Earthworm system performs several data analysis tasks in near-real time and places raw seismic data, preliminary hypocenter locations, and magnitudes on a Website within 5 min of a seismic event. Such rapid access to seismic data allows personnel at the Stillwater Mine, Spokane Research Laboratory, and Earthquake Studies Office to evaluate seismic events quickly and respond in ways that may improve the safety of mine personnel underground. Installation of the system also broadened earthquake coverage to south-central Montana, a region previously not covered by the seismograph network.