Mining Contract: Developing a New Tension Crack Analysis System to Increase the Safety of Open Pit Slopes

Keywords: Open pit mining
This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.
Contract # 200-2017-95360
Start Date 8/28/2017
End Date 8/31/2019
Research Concept

This analysis aims to provide an early warning system to enable open pit mines to better track and maintain slope stability.

Contract Status & Impact

This contract is complete. To receive a copy of the final report, send a request to

Tension cracks in open pit mine slopes are often the first signs of slope failure. Detecting and analyzing these cracks are key elements to maintaining a safe and stable slope system. Despite advances in slope monitoring, identification of tension cracks remains an open problem for geotechnical engineers.

By using a drone to image and map an open pit mine, and then using state-of-the-art data analysis techniques to automate the identification of cracks and the characterization of their dynamics, the contractor seeks to develop an early warning system to alert engineers of potential slope failures so corrective measures can be taken.

The contractor will integrate multiple technologies and systems to construct the early warning system, including enabling an interface between a CAD model of the mine, images taken by the drone, and the automated analysis system designed to detect cracks.

Page last reviewed: February 6, 2020
Page last updated: February 6, 2020