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Mining Publication: Analysis of Bench Crest Performance at the Yellowstone Mine: A Case Study

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated. Contact NIOSH Mining if you need an accessible version.

Original creation date: May 2004

Image of publication Analysis of Bench Crest Performance at the Yellowstone Mine: A Case Study

A case study is presented that relates statistical descriptions of joint sets to the distribution of local wedge failures along the crest of a catch bench at the Yellowstone Talc Mine. The fracture sets and bench width were mapped by teams of geological engineering students from Montana Tech under the direction of Dr. Mary MacLaughlin. The students analyzed the fracture data, conducted physical property tests, and used a beta version of a NIOSH program "Bwedge" to predict the distribution of surviving bench widths. In the course of this analysis the students developed evidence of software performance issues that, unfortunately, frustrated their analysis. These have now been addressed and a full analysis completed. The analysis confirms the validity of the student mapping program and provides insight into the effects of blasting and excavation practices on the bench. It also provides a tool for exploring the pattern of bench crest failure that would result from variations in both bench geometry and blasting practices.

Authors: JK Whyatt, MM MacLaughlin, SM Miller

Conference Paper - May 2004

NIOSHTIC2 Number: 20026114

Proceedings of the 39th Symposium on Engineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering: Research to Practice, May 18-19, 2004. M. McLaughlin and R. McNearny, eds., Butte, MT: Montana Tech of the University of Montana, 2004 May; :149-163