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Characterizing roof fall signatures from underground mines.

Iannacchione AT; Burke LM; Chapman MC
Controlling Seismic Risk: Sixth International Symposium on Rockburst and Seismicity in Mines, Perth Australia, March 9-11, 2005. Potvin T, Hudyma M, eds., Crawley, Western Australia, Australia: Australian Centre for Geomechanics, 2005 Mar; :619-629
A sequence of seismic events caused by multiple impacts of rocks of varying size hitting the mine floor and small rock rupturing events associated with three roof falls are analyzed in terms of seismic moment, radiated seismic energy, and apparent stress. The study site is an underground limestone quarry. The data were obtained from a multichannel, in-mine seismic monitoring system. Estimates of seismic moment and radiated seismic energy are calibrated using rock drop tests and local quarry blasts. Experiments show that falling rocks are very inefficient sources of high-frequency seismic energy and that the condition of the mine floor (whether clear or debris-covered) plays a substantial role in determining the amount of radiated seismic energy. Massive (2,400-metric-ton) roof falls differ from rock shear/rupture-type events in that their signatures are emergent and long in duration and they have a low apparent stress value. The low apparent stresses are believed to be caused by the inefficient source of roof rocks striking the mine floor. The observed moment magnitudes of four roof falls ranged from 0.1 to 1.4, with apparent stress less than that of other local mining-induced seismic events. Prior to these massive roof failures, an increased level of seismic events associated with fracturing of the roof strata and ranging in magnitude from -1.4 to 0.3 are observed. The characteristic low apparent stress of the massive roof falls and precursory low-magnitude rock fracture events may hold promise for successful seismic monitoring of hazardous mine roof conditions.
Underground-mining; Rock-falls; Safety-research; Injuries; Stone-mines; Mining-industry; Room-and-pillar-mining; Quarries; Geophysics
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Potvin-Y; Hudyma-M
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
Source Name
Controlling Seismic Risk: Sixth International Symposium on Rockburst and Seismicity in Mines, Perth Australia, March 9-11, 2005
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division