Rock mass mechanical behavior in deep mines: in situ monitoring and numerical modelling for improving seismic hazard assessment

Abstract : With the aim of better understanding interactions between stress modifications induced by mining and the generation of seismic activity, a deep area of Garpenberg mine (Sweden) was instrumented by Ineris with microseismic probes and geotechnical cells. Spatiotemporal analysis of recorded seismicity between 2015 and 2016, as well as seismic source parameters, have highlighted two types of seismic rock mass responses: one local and temporally short directly induced by production blasts, the other long-lasting over time and remote from excavations being mainly controlled by geological heterogeneities. Geotechnical data analysis showed the occurrence of aseismic deformations, as well as creep phenomena induced by mining exploitation. In addition, seismic activity decays proportional to the decaying rate of measured strains. This latter observation implies that creep may be another mechanism driving seismicity, in addition to the immediate stress change induced by blasting. In the last part of this thesis, a 3D elasto-plastic geomechanical model has been realized and its results have been compared with geophysical data. This comparison showed that mine-wide numerical models can be suitable for the analysis of mining induced seismicity at large-scale. However, there are some aspects of the induced seismicity that the model cannot fully explain. This is particularly true for remote seismicity occurring at a distance from excavations, while better correlations are found when considering seismicity close to production areas. Results of this thesis demonstrated that a combined approach which associates seismic and geotechnical data with numerical modelling can significantly improve our understanding of the rock mass response to mining. The combination of these methodologies in an integrated approach can significantly reduce their straightforward limitations, which appears evident when these instruments are considered separately.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 10:10:02 AM
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Francesca de Santis. Rock mass mechanical behavior in deep mines: in situ monitoring and numerical modelling for improving seismic hazard assessment. Earth Sciences. Université de Lorraine, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LORR0020⟩. ⟨tel-02130780⟩

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